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Sunday, April 21, 2024

China Quietly Annexes Northeast Corner of Gulf of Tonkin

Earlier this month, China quietly turned a swathe of the Gulf of Tonkin into an extension of Chinese internal waters, simply by declaring a new baseline across the gulf’s northeastern end. If Beijing’s unilateral declaration stands, a crescent-shaped area extending up to 50 nautical miles from the Chinese coast will be fully subject to China’s domestic laws.

Per UNCLOS, a normal baseline is the edge of the shoreline, and it is the starting point for measuring a nation’s territorial sea. China has moved that starting line far offshore using UNCLOS’ straight-baseline clause, which was designed to simplify maritime demarcation for complex coastlines – for example, western Norway, which is a maze of islands and fjords. Using straight baselines to “smooth” the legal shape of a rugged coastline, a nation with a fringe of islands or inlets can delineate rational maritime boundaries.

In keeping with this purpose, UNCLOS requires that straight baselines must follow the general direction of the coast, and any sea area on the landward side of the baseline must be closely linked to the nation’s jurisdiction.

Read the rest of the story at The Maritime Executive, here.

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Homeland Security Today
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.
Homeland Security Today
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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