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China violating international laws in East Sea: RoK expert

The situation in the East Sea is growing worse as China is breaking international laws in the waters, according Lee Jaehyon, Director of the Centre for ASEAN and Oceania Studies at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

The scholar further said China’s acts are causing major security concerns for the Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, and warned that China is applying the tactic of gradually monopolizing the waters under the so-called “nine-dash line” strategy, building infrastructure and enhancing militarisation on islands and reefs in the East Sea.

Currently there are sufficient legal framework for activities in the waters, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982) and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), he said, highlighting that China is among the signatories of those pacts which regulate that all disputes in the region and the East Sea must be handled by peaceful means.

Lee also stressed it is clear that China has failed to comply with the international laws and treaties, and only when the country respects the law could the issue be settled peacefully.

He added that there should be a stronger consensus among the international community so as to exert pressure on China, making the nation see the consequences brought by its own actions in the East Sea.