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Maritime Boundary Delimitation Regime for the Gulf of Tonkin Dispute and China`s Position
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  • Journal title : Ocean and Polar Research
  • Volume 26, Issue 4,  2004, pp.669-678
  • Publisher : Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology
  • DOI : 10.4217/OPR.2004.26.4.669
 Title & Authors
Maritime Boundary Delimitation Regime for the Gulf of Tonkin Dispute and China`s Position
Yang, Hee-Cheol; Park, Seong-Wook; Kwon, Moon-Sang;
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Coastal states are adopting maritime boundary delimitation as their primary maritime policy because maritime jurisdiction directly relates to vast economic interest. This becomes specially important and sensitive when complex maritime boundary issues are involved between neighboring coastal states. China has not actively carried out nor declared maritime boundary delimitation until recently with any country except Agreement between China and Viet Nam on the demarcation of the territorial water, the exclusive economic zones and the continental shelf of China and Vet Nam in the Gulf of Tonkin on 25 December 2000 (hereinafter, the Gulf of Tonkin Agreement). The principles that governs maritime boundary delimitation are to consider primarily an agreement between States concerned, however, if no agreement can be reached, all relevant circumstances are considered to achieve an equity between concerned States. Relevant circumstances are length of coastline, form of coastline, existence and position of island or islands, speciality of geology/topography, and factor of economy and deffnce. Factors which sinologists are considering in regard to continental shelf delimitation of the Yellow Sea are as follows; i) geographical factor, ii) geological factor, iii) topographical factor, iv) environment and ecological (factor, v) historic interest, and vi) social and economic interest. The `Gulf of Tonkin Agreement` is completed by basically applying the principle of delimitation according to median line which seems that China has adopted the maritime boundary delimitation principle of `half and half` which was the intention of chinese government. At the same time, China recognized Viet Nam`s dominion and sovereign right over the partial exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf of Dao Bach Long Vi in Gulf of Tonkin. This case can be considered as an example of mutual concession or compromise in delimiting maritime boundary for states of concerned.
United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea;Exclusive Economic Zone;continental shelf;maritime boundary delimitation;natural prolongation;relevant circumstances;Gulf of Tonkin;median line principle;
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