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The Role of the Sedimentary Deposits (silt line) from Rivers Flowing into the Sea in the Yellow Sea Maritime Boundary
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  • Journal title : Ocean and Polar Research
  • Volume 31, Issue 1,  2009, pp.31-50
  • Publisher : Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology
  • DOI : 10.4217/OPR.2009.31.1.031
 Title & Authors
The Role of the Sedimentary Deposits (silt line) from Rivers Flowing into the Sea in the Yellow Sea Maritime Boundary
Yang, Hee-Cheol;
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The demarcation of Maritime Boundary is directly related to the expansion of jurisdiction and the securing of resources. Resource diplomacies of the three countries Korea, China and Japan represent a major task for the national administrations : to secure resources as well as to stablize and sustain resources for future national economies. At the sea area around Korea as well, countries are fiercely competing to secure resources and to expand jurisdiction. This is evidenced by the fact that various principles and logics which are beneficial to each own country are presented through international precedents, agreement between countries and the theories of the international law scholars. They say that the conclusion of demarcation of maritime boundary for the Yellow Sea would be easy from the point that there is no dispute related to island dominion in the waters of the Korean Peninsula especially the Yellow Sea, but still we need to have a strategic approach to this issue from the point that the factors used for claiming maritime boundaries may expand the waters of a country over much. For example, the continental shelf boundary in consideration of the distribution of sedimentary deposits in the Yellow Sea which is being raised by China began from the hypothesis that the inflow of sedimentary deposits to the Yellow Sea through the rivers of China represents absolute majority, but the results of the latest studies raised questions on the hypothesis. Especially, the studies done by Martin and Yang revealed that the inflow of sedimentary deposits to the Yellow Sea from the Yellow River is approximately less than 1% of total sedimentary deposits in the Yellow Sea, and also the result of analysis on the causes and counter policy measures on the environment of Bohai, China supports the reliability of the results of such studies. From a legal aspect, the sedimentary deposits of rivers which are claimed by China represent extremely weak ground for the claim for the title of the continental shelf. The siltline claimed by China seems to be based on the Article 76-4-(a)(i) of UNCLOS. This is, however, not the definition on the title of the continental shelf but it is only a technical formula to utilize in a case where a country desires to expand the continental shelf to over 200 nautical miles. Scientific and Technical Guidelines of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf also confirm this point through the Article 2.1.2 of the Guideline. The only case in which sedimentary deposits of rivers were referred to as concrete demarcation of maritime boundary was in the which was concluded in 1986 between India and Myanmar at the Andaman Sea. In the said case, India acknowledged the boundary up to the isobath of 200m which Myanmar claimed based on the sedimentary deposits of the Irrawaddy River. It has limits as a case for acknowledging the sedimentary deposits, however, because in fact India`s acknowledgment was made in exchange for the condition that Myanmar gave up the dominion of two islands which they had been claiming from India up until that time.
sedimentary deposits of rivers;siltline;Yellow Sea;Maritime Boundary;principle of natural prolongation;
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