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John Bolton on Environment

 


China falsely regulates pollution under Law of the Sea

The Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST)--was signed by the US in 1994 but never ratified by the Senate. With China emerging as a major power, ratifying the treaty now would encourage Sino-American strife, constrain US naval activities, and do nothing to resolve China's expansive maritime territorial claims.

At issue is China's intensified effort to keep America's military out of its "Exclusive Economic Zone," a LOST invention that affords coastal states control over economic activity in areas beyond their sovereign, 12-mile territorial seas out to 200 miles. LOST recognizes exclusive economic zones as international waters, but China is exploiting the treaty's ambiguities to declare "no go" zones in regions where centuries of state practice clearly permit unrestricted maritime activity.

Beijing also brazenly claims--exploiting Western green sensibilities--that US naval vessels pollute China's exclusive zone, pollution being an activity the treaty permits coastal states to regulate out to 24 miles.

Source: AEI Scholars column: Kill the Law of the Sea , Sep 29, 2011

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Page last updated: Jul 08, 2015