‘China’s Spratlys baseline plan exceeds nine-dash line’
MANILA, Philippines — China’s plan to draw straight baselines around the Spratly Islands and declare much of South China Sea as part of its internal water closed to foreign planes and ships would further escalate tensions in the region, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI).
“China has made no secret of its intention to eventually declare straight baselines around the rest of its claimed features in the South China Sea, including the Spratly Islands,” AMTI said.
“In any form, a baselines declaration in the Spratlys would escalate tensions in the region. Claimants like the Philippines and Vietnam would find disputed seas, including those immediately around some of their outposts, suddenly labeled China’s internal waters closed to foreign planes and ships,” AMTI said.
“The United States and other outside parties would also be sure to undertake operations to signal their non-recognition of those internal waters,” it added. “And both commercial shipping and airline companies would face the possibility of China attempting to close previous routes through and above these baselines.” – Marc Jayson Cayabyab, Cecille Suerte Felipe