Historical Fiction: China’s South China Sea Claims

In light of the recent landmark decision of the Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling that China has no historic rights based on its so-called “nine-dash line map”, we are reblogging Mohan Malik’s article on the issue. We hope that this will help clarify the issue, particularly with our friends in China.

Group: ViewsAsia Credit: PARESH Source: The Khaleej Times - Dubai, UAE Keywords: COLOR SOUTH CHINA SEA ASEAN DRAGON CONDUCT 052715 Provider: CartoonArts International / The New York Times Syndicate
The South China Sea dispute. (Provider: CartoonArts International / The New York Times)


Color My World

By: Mr Mohan Malik

(Mohan Malik is a professor in Asian security at Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, in Honolulu. The views expressed are his own. His most recent book is China and India: Great Power Rivals. This article was published in World Affairs, May/June 2013 issue.)

The Spratly Islands—not so long ago known primarily as a rich fishing ground—have turned into an international flashpoint as Chinese leaders insist with increasing truculence that the islands, rocks, and reefs have been, in the words of Premier Wen Jiabao, “China’s historical territory since ancient times.” Normally, the overlapping territorial claims to sovereignty and maritime boundaries ought to be resolved through a combination of customary international law, adjudication before the International Court of Justice or the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, or arbitration under Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). While China…

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