Sandra

Brunei

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Summary of Claims Brunei, located in Southeast Asia on the north-western coast of the island of Borneo, claims a 200-nautical mile (nm) exclusive economic zone (EEZ) that overlaps with China’s nine-dash line, as well as a 12-nm territorial sea and a continental shelf. Brunei asserts its maritime jurisdiction over these areas. Brunei appears to claim the one land feature within its EEZ, Louisa Reef, though different members of the government have made conflicting claims. Part of the Spratly Islands archipelago, Louisa Reef is also claimed by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Malaysia appears to have rescinded its claim to Louisa Reef.… Read More »Brunei

Malaysia

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Summary of Claims Malaysia claims ten maritime features in the southern region of the Spratly Islands but may have dropped its claim to an eleventh feature, Louisa Reef. Of the ten features to which it maintains a clear claim, Malaysia controls seven. Vietnam and China also claim all of the features that Malaysia claims, while the Philippines claims only some of the features. Historical/Legal Basis of Claims Malaysia’s claims to certain maritime features in the South China Sea are based on its corresponding claim to a continental shelf, as defined by a 1966 law, a 1979 map, and a 2009… Read More »Malaysia

Philippines

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Summary of Claims The Philippines claims the northeastern section of the Spratly Islands as the Kalayaan Island Group, in addition to the Scarborough Shoal, which it calls the Bajo de Masinloc. Malaysia claims part of the Kalayaan Island, while China and Taiwan claim the entirety of the island group. China and Taiwan also claim the Scarborough Shoal, which is currently patrolled by Chinese maritime law enforcement vessels. In addition, the body of water enclosed within the nine-dash line promulgated by China and Taiwan overlaps with the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf. Historical/Legal Basis of Claims The Philippines… Read More »Philippines

Republic of Korea

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Summary of Claims The Republic of Korea (ROK) has unresolved disputes over maritime boundary delimitation with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the Yellow Sea (West Sea in Korea); China in the Yellow and East China Seas; and Japan in the Sea of Japan (East Sea in Korea). South Korea and Japan also dispute the sovereignty of the Dokdo/Takeshima Islands.[1] This profile examines South Korea’s unresolved maritime disputes with North Korea and China. Despite multiple rounds of talks, South Korea and China have been unable to reconcile their overlapping exclusive economic zone (EEZ) claims in the Yellow Sea and… Read More »Republic of Korea

Taiwan

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Summary of Claims The Republic of China (ROC), or Taiwan, claims sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands—known as the Diaoyu Islands in the People’s Republic of China and the Senkaku Islands in Japan—as the legitimate government of China. Taipei holds that China has controlled the island group since the Ming Dynasty and that the islands were returned to the ROC by Japan in 1945. Taiwan argues that the Diaoyutais fall under the jurisdiction of Yilan County. Historical/Legal Basis of Claims Taiwan claims the Senkaku/Diaoyutai Islands based on surveying expeditions, fishing activities and naval patrols extending as far back as the Ming… Read More »Taiwan

Vietnam

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Summary of Claims Vietnam claims the Paracel Islands (known as Hoang Sa in Vietnamese), which are also claimed by both China and Taiwan (and are known as the Xisha in Chinese), while China exercises control over the islands. Vietnam further claims the entirety of the Spratly Islands (known as Truong Sa in Vietnamese), as do China and Taiwan (which refer to them as Nansha). Malaysia, the Philippines, and Brunei also claim parts of the Spratlys. In the Spralty Islands, Vietnam currently occupies 25 features. Historical/Legal Basis of Claims Vietnam argues that it has maintained effective occupation of both the Paracel… Read More »Vietnam

Olivia Truesdale

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Olivia Truesdale is an intern with the Political and Security Affairs group at NBR. She supports project activities such as research, drafting, proofreading, and fact checking. Prior to joining NBR, Ms. Truesdale was a Nonimmigrant Visa Unit intern at the U.S. Embassy, Seoul, and an exchange student at Yonsei University. She is a senior and studies foreign languages and cultures, specializing in Korean and Spanish, at Scripps College in Claremont, California.

Bibliography

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The following bibliography was compiled for the Maritime Awareness Project by Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA and the National Bureau of Asian Research. It includes publications of the International Expert Panel and the Principal Investigator. The bibliography is followed by information on zones of maritime jurisdiction and factsheets on submarine cables and the U.S. Freedom of Navigation Program. From Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA -“Missed opportunities in the Pentagon’s new maritime strategy,” by Dennis Blair and Jeffrey W. Hornung, CSIS Pacific Forum, PacNet #53, (Aug. 31, 2015). -“Get Ready: China-Japan Tensions Set to Flare over East China Sea,” Article by Jeffrey W.… Read More »Bibliography

Bibliography

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The following bibliography was compiled for the Maritime Awareness Project by Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA and the National Bureau of Asian Research. It includes publications of the International Expert Panel and the Principal Investigator. The bibliography is followed by information on zones of maritime jurisdiction. From Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA -“Missed opportunities in the Pentagon’s new maritime strategy,” by Dennis Blair and Jeffrey W. Hornung, CSIS Pacific Forum, PacNet #53, (Aug. 31, 2015). -“Get Ready: China-Japan Tensions Set to Flare over East China Sea,” Article by Jeffrey W. Hornung in The National Interest (Aug. 12, 2015). -“China’s self-defeating provocations in… Read More »Bibliography

About

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There are differing scales and scopes of maritime disputes throughout the world. In the Asia-Pacific, competing territorial claims in the East and South China Seas have become intractable features of the security landscape. Confrontations between claimants, both at sea and in the diplomatic arena, have escalated in recent years as historical narratives collide with modern geopolitics. Given this pressing reality, the Maritime Awareness Project begins its exploration of maritime security issues in the Asia-Pacific region, to be followed later by an expansion into other bodies of water throughout the world. The Maritime Awareness Project features an Interactive Map and Incident… Read More »About