10 February 2014

Jeffrey Bader: “The U.S. and China’s Nine-Dash Line: Ending the Ambiguity”

Jeffrey A. Bader, The U.S. and China’s Nine-Dash Line: Ending the Ambiguity,” The Brookings Institution, 6 February 2014.

For the first time, the United States government has come out publicly with an explicit statement that the so-called “nine-dash line,” which the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan assert delineates their claims in the South China Sea, is contrary to international law. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Danny Russel, in testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on February 5, said, “Under international law, maritime claims in the South China Sea must be derived from land features. Any use of the ‘nine-dash line’ by China to claim maritime rights not based on claimed land features would be inconsistent with international law. The international community would welcome China to clarify or adjust its nine-dash line claim to bring it in accordance with the international law of the sea.” …