China and UNCLOS

Is Beijing readying for more pronounced conflict in the South China Sea?

Proposed Changes to China’s Maritime Safety Law and Compliance with UNCLOS

By Chris Mirasola

Last week, Reuters reported that China is “considering revisions to its maritime safety law which would make foreign submersibles travel on the surface and report their movements to authorities when in China’s waters.” The news bulletin also reported that draft provisions would allow maritime authorities “to stop foreign ships entering Chinese waters if the ships are judged to be a possible cause of harm to navigational safety and order.”

A closer look at this report reveals that some, but not all, of the proposals simply incorporate legitimate rights enshrined in the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

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