China needs 'consistent policy' on South China Sea: ICG report

   Apr 23, 4:49 pm

London, Apr 23 (ANI): A new report by the International Crisis Group (ICG) says China needs a "consistent policy" on the South China Sea if it is to resolve disputes.

The ICG said, "conflicting mandates" and "lack of co-ordination" among Chinese agencies had stoked tension in the region. The report also states that the number of maritime disputes has "increased dramatically" in recent years, leading to "concerns that China, Vietnam and the Philippines are growing more assertive on this issue, endangering regional stability".

Repeated proposals for "a more centralised mechanism" have not been met, it adds. "More immediate conflict risks lie in the growing number of law enforcement and paramilitary vessels playing an increasing role in disputed territories without a clear legal framework," it says.

The findings are based on interviews with officials, academics, diplomats, journalists and industry experts in fishing, tourism and oil, from China, South East Asia, Taiwan, Japan and the US.

China's claim includes almost the entire South China Sea , well into what the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea recognises as the 200-mile-from-shore Exclusive Economic Zones of other claimants, resulting in competition to occupy islands, reefs and sandbars.

Apart from China and the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan are competing over areas in the South China Sea. (ANI)

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