China and South Korea Argue over a Submerged Rock

Another example of a boundary dispute you would have thought would have been resolved by reference to the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea. (blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2012/03/13/china-south-korea-in-row-over-submerged-rock/)

“China’s State Oceanic Administration chief declared last week that it was part of China’s ‘jurisdictional waters’ and covered by its maritime patrols.

“South Korea’s President, Lee Myung-bak, said Monday that the reef ‘will fall naturally into Korean-controlled areas,’ according to the Yonhap news agency. The same day, South Korea’s Foreign Minstry questioned China’s ambassador in Seoul over the issue.”

China and South Korea have had a series of meetings to delineate where the boundary between their EEZs lies, without resolution. (more here)

The rock, 4.6 meters below the surface, has an unmanned research station on it with a helicopter landing pad. It is “located 149 kilometers southwest of Korea’s southernmost island of Marado and 247 kilometers northeast of the nearest Chinese island Tongdao.” (source)

This dispute, coming on the heals of the murder of a South Korean Coast Guardsman by a Chinese fisherman (not the first time), is not going down well in South Korea.

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