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China bares first book on 9-dash line

Patricia Lourdes Viray - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines —  China recently released its first book on the nine-dash line claim over the South China Sea in an attempt to justify its claims contested by neighbors in the region.

“The Nine-Dash Line in the South China Sea: History, Status, and Implications” authored by Zhiguo Gao and Bing Bing Jia from the China Institute for Marine Affairs explores a historical line of maritime rights over the disputed waters. It also puts forth arguments on China's so-called right to fish and explore in waters covered by the dotted line.

An excerpt of the book states, “The South China Sea has generally been a calm area of sea since ancient times. Until the late twentieth century, it had provided a fertile fishing ground for local fishermen from China and other littoral states, and a smooth route of navigation for the nations of the region and the rest of the international community.”

“The overall position of the authors is that the nine-dash line has always had a foundation in international law including the customary law of discovery, occupation, and historic title, as well as UNCLOS itself,” the authors claimed in book's introduction.

Claims over the Scarborough Shoal and Spratly Islands have been the center of a longstanding dispute between China and its regional neighbors, Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, Brunei and Malaysia.

The Philippines filed an arbitration case against China before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea seeking an end to the maritime rivalry heightened by China's show of force in the contested areas.

China's claim, roughly based on historical merits, are questioned by the Philippines, which insists that it has the rights over specific areas of the South China Sea within 200 nautical miles from its baseline, as provided in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

RELATED:  Military base in West Philippine Sea? China skirts query

BRUNEI AND MALAYSIA

CHINA

CHINA INSTITUTE

INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL

LAW OF THE SEA

MARINE AFFAIRS

NINE-DASH LINE

SCARBOROUGH SHOAL AND SPRATLY ISLANDS

SEA

SOUTH CHINA SEA

UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION

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