Australia rejects China's East Sea claims at UN

(VOVWORLD) - Australia has declared “there is no legal basis” to China’s territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea (called the East Sea in Vietnam). 

The declaration, made in a submission to the United Nations on Thursday, said Australia rejects China’s claim to ‘historic rights’ or ‘maritime rights and interests’ as established in the ‘long course of historical practice’ in the South China Sea.

Australia’s declaration mentioned the objections and complaints held by countries, including the Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia in regards to Beijing’s actions in the South China Sea, and “rejects” the validity of “land building activities” used to create artificial islands.

The declaration said Australia does not accept China’s claim of sovereignty over the Paracel Islands (called Hoang Sa in Vietnam) and Spratly Islands (called Truong Sa in Vietnam).  

It noted that the Tribunal in the 2016 South China Sea Arbitral Award found these claims to be inconsistent with UNCLOS (the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) and, to the extent of that inconsistency, invalid.  

There is no legal basis for China to draw straight baselines connecting the outermost points of maritime features or ‘island groups’ in the South China Sea, including around the ‘Four Sha’ or ‘continental’ or ‘outlying’ archipelagos,” it said.

Australia rejects any claims to internal waters, territorial sea, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf based on such straight baselines, the declaration said.