Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Exclusive Economic Zone | March 10, 2022

 Why Biden Wants Taiwan/拜登支持台灣的理由

An exclusive economic zone (EEZ), as prescribed by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, is an area of the sea in which a sovereign state has special rights regarding the exploration and use of marine resources, including energy production from water and wind.[1] It stretches from the baseline out to 200 nautical miles (nmi) from the coast of the state in question. It is also referred to as a maritime continental margin and, in colloquial usage, may include the continental shelf. The term does not include either the territorial sea or the continental shelf beyond the 200 nautical mile limit. The difference between the territorial sea and the exclusive economic zone is that the first confers full sovereignty over the waters, whereas the second is merely a "sovereign right" which refers to the coastal state's rights below the surface of the sea. The surface waters, as can be seen in the map, are international waters.     quoted from Wikipedia

Loopholes and lawfulness: De-escalating tensions in the South China Sea

Date published on March 4, 2022
Beijing’s progressive inroads are largely for two popularly cited reasons: First, to diversify its sources of acquiring energy as the South China Sea holds an estimated 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 11 billion barrels of oil in proved and probable reserves along with potentially undiscovered hydrocarbon reserves; and second, to exercise influence over the busy Sea Lines of Communication (SLOCs) that pass through these waters and, thereby, ensure maritime commercial and naval access towards the Indian and Pacific oceans. In addition to these reasons, China also claims historical rights over the South China Sea and, therefore, control over these waters is a crucial element as far as the Chinese Communist Party’s national aspirations for domestic politics and perception are concerned.

China’s determined projection of control in the area, primarily by establishing physical presence in the many small islands, shoals, atolls, and other rock formations that dot the South China Sea has been steadily expanding over the past decade. Referred to as the “salami slicing” strategy, this leads to a constant state of competition which, over time, has had a debilitating impact on resources and regional stability.

The responses of littorals as well as external powers—US, Japan, Australia—have been largely episodic and reactive in nature. And whilst Beijing is often the principal instigator of tensions, for instance, by marking the Nine-dash line, creating artificial islands, initiating the new coast guard law, and increasing its maritime militia, etc., other littoral countries too have engaged in similar activates though on a much smaller scale.

The phrase ‘sovereign rights’ began to be unsystematically used in international maritime law since the 1970s (around the same time that the third UN Conference on the Law of the Sea was held, which led to the signing of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982; it remains to be the key international legal maritime framework till date) to govern the rights of coastal states over resources in the continental shelf and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Since the 1990s, the term has also been associated with reference to determining sovereign rights over energy resources. However, possessing sovereign rights over resources in the EEZ does not confer sovereignty over the same territory. Thus, the sovereign rights (limited set of rights and power) of a coastal state towards the exploitation of resources in the EEZ and the continental shelf is not equivalent to the exercise of sovereignty (supreme political authority) over the area...     quoted from Observer Research Foundation
China is a Threat to World’s Seas

Date published on Feb. 10, 2022
...China’s action doesn’t stop at its doorsteps. An example is the deliberate destruction of coral reefs by Chinese fishermen in areas of the South China Sea close to the Philippines. In the meantime, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to assess the ecological conditions of the disputed sea due to Chinese military buildup. China has dredged up more than 259 square kilometers of healthy coral reefs in the South China Sea to use as construction material for artificial islands. 

China’s attitude seems to be based on zero-sum thinking, bringing tragic consequences for the ecosystem. In 2015, Chinese poachers were arrested by the Philippine coast guard with 350 dead sea turtles on their ship, and in 2013 a Chinese ship got stuck in the Tubbataha Reef protected area in Philippine waters.

Chinese fishermen have been illegally fishing in the maritime zones of KiribatiVanuatu, and the Solomon Islands and New Zealand, as well as  American Samoa , Guam, and Hawaii. They have also been found to be plundering red coral in Japan’s territorial seas. 

There are many other consequences to these actions, including food insecurity in mostly poor tropical nations. Another cost is slave labor aboard the Chinese vessels. Indonesian workers were found to have worked to death in deplorable conditions, which had led to the reappearance of diseases not seen since the time of Captain Cook...     quoted from The News Lens 

Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community—Key China Content

Date published on March 10, 2022

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will continue efforts to achieve President’s Xi Jinping’s vision of making China the preeminent power in East Asia and a major power on the world stage. The CCP will work to press Taiwan on unification, undercut U.S. influence, drive wedges between Washington and its partners, and foster some norms that favor its authoritarian system. China’s leaders probably will, however, seek opportunities to reduce tensions with Washington when it suits their interests. 

China will maintain its statist economic policies because China’s leaders see state direction as necessary to reduce dependence on foreign technologies, enable military modernization, and sustain growth—ensuring CCP rule and the realization of its vision for national rejuvenation.
  • Beijing sees increasingly competitive U.S.–China relations as part of an epochal geopolitical shift and views Washington’s diplomatic, economic, and military measures against Beijing as part of a broader U.S. effort to prevent China’s rise and undermine CCP rule.
  • The CCP is increasing its criticism of perceived U.S. failures and hypocrisy, including the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and racial tensions in the United States.
  • Beijing is increasingly combining growing military power with its economic, technological, and diplomatic clout to strengthen CCP rule, secure what it views as its sovereign territory and regional preeminence, and pursue global influence.
  • However, China faces myriad—and in some cases growing—domestic and international challenges that probably will hinder CCP leaders’ ambitions. These include an aging population, high levels of corporate debt, economic inequality, and growing resistance to China’s heavy-handed tactics in Taiwan and other countries.

China uses coordinated, whole-of-government tools to demonstrate strength and compel neighbors to acquiesce to Beijing’s preferences, including its territorial and maritime claims and assertions of sovereignty over Taiwan.
  • Beijing will press Taiwan to move toward unification and will react to what it views as increased U.S.–Taiwan engagement. We expect that friction will grow as China continues to increase military activity around the island, and Taiwan’s leaders resist Beijing’s pressure for progress toward unification. China’s control over Taiwan probably would disrupt global supply chains for semiconductor chips because Taiwan dominates production.
  • In the South China Sea, Beijing will continue to use growing numbers of air, naval, and maritime law enforcement platforms to intimidate rival claimants and signal that China has effective control over contested areas. China is similarly pressuring Japan over contested areas in the East China Sea...     more

Could China mediate the Ukraine war?
America’s overreach and Russia’s overreaction make possible a diplomatic revolution

Date published on March 9, 2922
...The Chinese news site added, “Xi Jinping stressed that we should jointly support the Russia-Ukraine peace talks, help the two sides to maintain the momentum of the negotiations, overcome difficulties and continue the talks to reach results and peace.”

He called for “maximum restraint to prevent a large-scale humanitarian crisis,” adding that China “is willing to provide further humanitarian aid to Ukraine. We need to work together to reduce the negative impact of the crisis.” The sanctions now in place “will have an impact on the stability of global finance, energy, transportation, and supply chains, and will drag down the world economy.”

Xi added that China will support France and Germany “to act on behalf of Europe’s own interests, consider Europe’s lasting security, adhere to strategic independence, and promote the building of a balanced, effective, and sustainable European security framework. China is also happy to see a dialogue among equals among Europe, Russia, the United States, and NATO.”

These are generalities, to be sure. What matters is relationships: China has close ties with both Russia and Ukraine, described as “China’s new bridge to Europe” in one report. Chinese investors have put $2 billion a year into Ukraine since the now-embattled country was the first to sign the statement of intent for the Belt and Road Initiative in 2017. China’s imports from Ukraine nearly doubled to nearly $8 billion in 2020 from just over $4 billion in 2019...     quoted from Asia Times

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