31 July 2020
China has changed the wording of a shipping regulation to identify a stretch of water between Hainan province and the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea as a “coastal” rather than “offshore” navigation area.
The word change appeared in an amended version of a regulation – drawn up in 1974 – regarding technical rules for the statutory testing of seagoing vessels. Zhang Jie, an expert on the South China Sea at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the move might have been designed to strengthen the administration of the Paracels using domestic laws. “Even if this is not directly aimed at enhancing control, it has that effect,” he said.
Collin Koh, a Research Fellow at the RSIS agreed. “This might not come as a surprise, especially after Beijing announced the creation of administrative districts for the Paracels and Spratlys,” he said.
IDSS / Print
Last updated on 03/08/2020