The effectiveness of current maritime security mechanisms in the East Sea has been assessed at a conference, hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, the US, on June 20-21.
The conference, titled “Maritime Security in the South China Sea (the East Sea)”, also heard proposed policy recommendations to enhance security in the region among more than 100 participating scholars, experts, officials and reporters.
Regarding the current mechanisms employed for handling disputes in the East Sea, Professor Peter Dutton from China Maritime Studies Institute, US Naval War College, pointed to the Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).
He said UNCLOS is quite clear that a state jurisdictional claim over resources must be based on its coastal geography.
"China's expression of jurisdictional maritime claim in the South China Sea as a U-shaped line of dashes without any direct or even indirect reference to a feature of its coastal geography or the base line for that matter is therefore a fundamental violation of international law in the norms of expected state behavior as expressed in UNCLOS", Dr. Dutton said.
"This U shaped line is one of the two major sources of disputes" in the East Sea, he pointed out, saying there never lacks ideas for solving disputes but the political will.
Referring to a mechanism on joint exploration, almost all scholars shared the opinion that the mechanism failed to work as concerned parties could not reach the final defining for areas of disputes and areas without disputes.
Many of the scholars called for the settlement of disputes by multilateral mechanisms and international laws.