Beijing slams Washington on illegal claims of demarcation of seabed

2024-04-03 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Beijing on Tuesday slammed Washington for its unilateral demarcation of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles, saying such an act is a typical example of unilateralism and hegemony.

The United States recently announced the outer limits of its extended continental shelf, the portion of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from the coast, and extended its jurisdiction over a resource-rich seabed area, according to the Financial Times.

"The U.S. unilateral claim is illegal and invalid which seriously violates international law," Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular news briefing.

Wang said rules of delimiting the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles are derived from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea rather than customary international law.

The U.S., which is not a signatory to the Convention, has no right to claim the outer continental shelf based on the Convention, nor does it have the right to have its outer continental shelf boundary reviewed by the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, the spokesman said.

"This once again exposes the pragmatic approach and hegemonic nature of the U.S. in its selective application of international law," Wang said.

As U.S. unilateral act erodes the international seabed area which is "the common heritage of mankind", Wang said the U.S. move harms the overall interests of and will not be recognized by the international community.

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