31 October 2014
The international media has reported that China is undertaking large-scale reclamation works on several of the seven reefs it occupies in the Spratly Islands.
The 2002 Asean-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea states that the parties undertake to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate the disputes in the area.
Although reclamation works and the construction of installations and structures on occupied features would seem to be inconsistent with this provision, China, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam have all undertaken such activities on the features they occupy and control in the Spratly Islands.
…The writer is director of the Centre for International Law and an associate professor at the Faculty of Law of the National University of Singapore. He is also an adjunct senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University.
RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 03/11/2014