Research on China’s South China Sea claim has been released by the US State Department for Ocean, Fisheries, and Polar Affairs. Beijing’s maritime claims in the South China Sea, it contends, violate international law, as represented in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

According to the United States, “none of China’s four ‘island groups’ in the South China Sea has met the geographic conditions for utilizing straight baselines under the Convention.”

China’s claims to internal waters, a territorial sea, an exclusive economic zone, and a continental shelf “that are predicated on treating each claimed South China Sea island group as a whole” are likewise “not permitted by international law.”

China has yet to comment on the findings, but it has consistently rejected The Hague’s 2016 judgment rejecting the “nine-dash line,” while claiming “historic rights” to the South China Sea.

It has previously stated that its military presence in the South China Sea is “primarily for the purpose of self-defense.”

Despite a judgment by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague that China’s maritime claims have no legal basis, China believes the Spratly archipelago to be its property.

China’s coercive activities are still being criticized by the US. For decades, Beijing has disputed the sovereignty of several South China Sea Island territories to which it claims. Most notably the Paracel and Spratly islands and the Scarborough Shoal.

After the Philippines, which also claims parts of the South China Sea, an international tribunal in The Hague declared China’s claim to have “no legal basis” based on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, to which Beijing is a signatory. 

Despite a judgment by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague that China’s maritime claims have no legal basis, China believes the Spratly archipelago to be its property.

According to a statement from the US Navy, the Carrier Strike Groups Carl Vinson and Abraham Lincoln will participate in operations targeted at increasing marine integrated-at-sea operations and combat preparedness.

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