Essay International Maritime Law Of The South China Sea

916 Words Jun 5th, 2015 4 Pages
Freedom of navigation in the South China Sea is the most immediate concern for the United States in order to ensure naval vessels retain all the rights of access allowed in the region under international maritime law. Current policy in China restricts foreign naval activities in their zones beyond that normally attributed to UNCLOS. This is a bad precedent for U.S. maritime access around the world, thus the United States must have options to improve the situation in the South China Sea.
With engagement activities of regionally aligned forces, the U.S. Army could become a significant influence in making the United States both a conciliator and balancer in the region. U.S. ratification of UNCLOS is another important step to influence the evolution of future interpretations of freedom of navigation toward more open stipulations than some of the states around the South China Sea now espouse. Although a more difficult proposition, the United States should demand the clarification of the historic claims made in the South China Sea, in order to facilitate negotiating a settlement, accelerate economic development, and remove the potential of shutting down all foreign navigation through the region. Support to Vietnam’s current islet occupations in the Spratlys, its claims to coastal EEZ and continental shelf areas in compliance with UNCLOS, and specific historic economic rights could wean Vietnam from its otherwise weak historic claims, and start sincere bargaining by linking the…

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