By Ellen Tordesillas
Alarm bells rang again with the announcement last week by China that Hainan, its southernmost province, was implementing a Fishery Law that requires foreign fishing boats to get its approval when venturing into the South China Sea starting Jan. 1, 2014.
Hainan, with an area of 32,900 square kilometers, is China’s smallest province. Yet the Fishery Law, which China claims to have been adopted in 1993 and amended in 2008, puts under Hainan’s authority two million square kilometers of the vast South China Sea (estimate size is 3.5 million square kilometers), parts of it are also being claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan.
The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs said “This new law reinforces China’s expansive claim under the 9-dash line (map)” which it has questioned before the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal.
“It is a gross violation of international law. This development escalates tensions, unnecessarily complicates theRead More »from China’s smallest province plays big role in South China Sea claim