China Successfully Patrols Disputed Islands, Will Submit Partial Continental Shelf Outline to UN

Published Date : Sep 26, 2012

The patrol ships of CMS (China Maritime Surveillance) successfully patrolled the disputed Diaoyu islands amidst high tension between China and Japan over alleged illegal purchase of Diaoyu Island and surrounding islets. The move is seen as a step by China to bolster its sovereignty and reinforce its territorial claim over the islands.

The growing protests in China against Japan, which saw Japanese vehicles being torched, manufacturing plants pelted, and Japanese flags burnt, forced China to carry out the patrol exercise to boost the sentiments across the Chinese communities over the country’s jurisdiction over Diaoyu Island and the affiliate islets. CMA had sent six patrol boats to the disputed area on Friday, and has said that it will continue with such law enforcement activities in the near future too.
The increased surveillance by China has come after Japan closed the deal to buy the Diaoyu Island and 2 of its islets. The uninhabited islands in East China Sea are a rich source of valuable resources and are controlled by Japan. Taiwan too claims its rights over the islands. Diaoyu Island is called as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.

Meanwhile, China has fastened its work on final submission to be made to the State Oceanic Administration to define the outer limits of the continental shelf. China has decided to make partial submission in this regard to the UN, seen as a strategic move to defend its maritime jurisdiction and sovereignty, after the Japanese prime minister decided to take the island controversy to the UN General Assembly.

As part of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, any coastal state whose continental shelf extends beyond 200 nautical miles, has to make a submission defining the outer limits of its continental shelf to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. China has been consistently enforcing its claim saying it has historical and legal evidences to support its claim. The controversial islands were seized by Japan at the end of the China-Japan 1894 – 1895 war, but were returned to China after World War II under key declarations made at the end of the war.