JEAIL > Volume 10(2); 2017 > Regional Focus & Controversies
Research Paper
Published online: November 30, 2017

International Deep Seabed Mining and China's Legislative Commitment to Marine Environmental Protection

Hao Shen
105-6, Building 1, 1298 Changde Rd. Shanghai, P.R. China 200060.
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Part XI of the UNCLOS lays out the legal framework for deep seabed mining activities in the Area. Several countries have already passed domestic deep seabed mining laws fulfilling their obligations under the Convention and the regulations promulgated by the ISA, established under the Convention. China passed its own deep seabed mining law in 2016. China's deep seabed mining law aims at securing effective regulation of its sponsored contractors' deep seabed activities and ensuring the contractors' compliance with the rules and regulations issued by the ISA. China's law pays tremendous attention to marine environmental protection during contractors' deep seabed activities. This paper briefly describes the legal regime for international seabed mining, then illustrates China's legislative actions, examines the key environmental provisions of China's deep seabed law and analyzes the balancing of interests of multiple parties behind China's emphasis on marine environmental protection during the exploration and exploitation of deep seabed minerals.

Keywords : UNCLOS, Deep Seabed, China's Deep Seabed Mining Law, Environmental Protection, State Sponsorship

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