7 November 2016, by Internetredaktion
What’s going on in the South China Sea, researchers in Cologne asked.
Rival countries have wrangled over territory in the South China Sea for centuries. Does Law of Sea provide a clear answer to which country this area belongs to? Not yet, was the conclusion of a workshop at the University of Cologne on 5 November 2016 which was funded by the China-EU School of Law. Over 30 legal scholars from China, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands and the Philippines discussed the South China disputes with a special focus on the 2016 arbitration award in the Philippines case against China under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). “All speakers gave emphasis to the significance of the award not just for the littoral states of the South China Sea but even for the development of the Law of the Sea in general,” organiser Dr Daniel Sprick said. “The discussants nevertheless agreed that the dispute in the South China Sea will not be fully solved by this award. Thus we intend to continue academic exchange on relevant issues of the Law of the Sea. “
The disputed islands are located in the Pacific Ocean about 800 kilometers south of China between Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. One third of the world's commercial shipping passes through these waterways. The area is also believed to harbour large oil and gas deposits. “This is why this territorial dispute also holds tremendous implications for the international community,” Sprick says. China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei all have competing claims. After the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s award, China still prefers bilateral negotiations with the other parties.