The Delimitation of East China Sea Continental Shelf:Sino-Japanese Disputes from the Perspective of International Law

Zhu Fenglan
JEL codes: 
Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

The East China Sea which covers a total area of 750,000 square kilometers is a semi-closed sea lying between the eastern coast of Chinas mainland and the Pacific Ocean, bounded on the west by China, on the east by the Kyushu and the Ryukyu Islands of Japan, and on the north by Jichu Island of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Yellow Sea, and connected with the South China Sea by the Taiwan Strait on the south. Since rich oil resources were founded in the continental shelf of the East China Sea and the surrounding area of the Diaoyu Island in the late 1960s, the question of the delimitation of the East China Sea area between China and Japan began to surface. After the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea came into force in 1994, divergence between China and Japan in the delimitation of the continental shelf of the East China Sea became sharper and disputes over it increasingly intense.