China floats the biggie: Barring foreign ships from claimed territorial waters

China floats the biggie: Barring foreign ships from claimed territorial waters
Chinese military base built on Fiery Cross Reef, South China Sea. (Image via Asian Defence News)

[Ed. – Here we go.  This is preparation for China to selectively close off international waters in the South China Sea, where Beijing’s claims of territorial waters are wildly excessive — and unrecognized by other nations or the UN.  Although Americans will focus on the potential impact for U.S. shipping, the first rights that will have to be defended are those of nations like the Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea, and Japan.  If WE don’t defend their rights, shooting to defend ours will become inevitable.  It’s no accident that the cute little “for example” is the South China Sea.  That’s what this is all about.]

China is to revise its 1984 Maritime Traffic Safety Law, which would allow the relevant authorities to bar some foreign ships from passing through Chinese territorial waters.

The Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council announced Tuesday it is soliciting public opinions on the revisions.

The draft would empower maritime authorities to prevent foreign ships from entering Chinese waters if it is decided that the ships may harm traffic safety and order.

The draft revisions stipulate that authorities will be able to designate specific areas and temporarily bar foreign ships from passing through those areas according to their own assessment of maritime traffic safety. …

Wang Xiaopeng, a maritime border expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the revisions will provide legal support for China to safeguard its maritime rights.

“As a sovereign State and the biggest coastal State in, for example, the South China Sea, China is entitled to adjust its maritime laws as needed, which will also promote peace and stable development in the waters,” Wang said.

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