An Avoidable Maritime Conflict: Disputes Regarding Military Activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone
Journal of Maritime Law & Commerce, Vol. 41, No. 3, p. 421, July 2010
18 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2012 Last revised: 2 Apr 2012
Date Written: July 1, 2010
Approximately 36 percent of the world’s oceans are in the 200-nm Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), 75 percent of the population lives within 100 miles of a coast and more than half of the known oil reserves are located there. It’s also the most likely area for maritime engagements, including piratical attacks and terrorist strikes.
An unfortunate category of confrontations in the EEZ have occurred, not from criminals or terrorists, but as a result of varying interpretations of the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) (1982). The EP-3 and USNS IMPECCABLE incidents between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the United States (U.S.) underscore the gravity of this relatively new, deadly and entirely avoidable issue.
Keywords: China, PRC, Exclusive Economic Zone, Law of the Sea Convention, navigational freedoms, Navy, PLA-N, maritime, EEZ, LOS, EP-3, piracy, high seas freedoms, oceans, Southeast China, Indian Ocean, USNS Impeccable, U.S. Navy, United Nations
JEL Classification: H5
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation