Maritime boundary delimitation regime for the Gulf of Tonkin dispute and China's position SCOPUS KCI

Maritime boundary delimitation regime for the Gulf of Tonkin dispute and China's position
Yang, H.C.; Park, S.W.; Kwon, M.S.
KIOST Author(s)
Park, Seong Wook(박성욱)
Publication Year
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 Viet 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 defence. 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.
Bibliographic Citation
Ocean and Polar Research, v.26, no.4, pp.669 - 678, 2004
Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute
boundary delimitation; boundary dispute; continental shelf; Law of the Sea; marine policy; maritime boundary; Gulf of Tonkin; oceanic regions; Pacific Ocean; South China Sea; World
Continental shelf; Exclusive Economic Zone; Gulf of Tonkin; Maritime boundary delimitation; Median line principle; Natural prolongation; Relevant circumstances; United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea
Document Type
Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute
Related Researcher
Research Interests

Law of the Sea,Marine Policy,해양법,해양정책

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