On July 13, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
released a statement contending that China’s claims in the South China Sea are “completely unlawful” and that there is “no coherent legal basis” for its nine-dash line map. This announcement was, of course, strongly opposed by China, which described it as completely unjustified.On July 13, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeoreleased a statement
Political rhetoric aside, the argument behind Pompeo’s statement regarding China’s nine-dash line is legitimate. The nine-dash line map contravenes international law, not least the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), in two main aspects.
map’s legal terminology is incompatible with UNCLOS. For instance, based on the map, China claims to have “indisputable sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea and the adjacent waters, and enjoys sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the relevant waters”.First, thenine-dash line