JEAIL > Volume 11(1); 2018 > Note & Comment
Research Paper
Published online: May 30, 2018

A Chinese Perspective of Treaty Interpretation on the Status of Maritime Features: In Response to the South China Sea Arbitration Award

Jinxing Ma
No. 15, Sha Tan Bei Jie, Dongcheng District, Beijing, 100720, P.R. China.
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.

The status of maritime features is one of the core issues in the South China Sea Arbitration. The essence of this issue is territorial sovereignty and maritime delimitation disputes between China and the Philippines. Based on the interception of certain facts and evidence, the Tribunal did not interpret the China's diplomatic position as it wanted, and it had an intensely subjective interpretation of Article 121(3) of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982. Combined with the Chinese government's positions before and after the publicity surrounding the Award, this paper, which takes the logical approaches of the Award as the main line, focuses on chapter 6 of the Award, raising questions about disputes on the status of maritime features, analyzing the treaty interpretations related to the status of maritime features, and clarifying the defections.

Keywords : Arbitral Tribunal, South China Sea, Statue, Maritime Features, Treaty Interpretation, In Dubio Mitius

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