JEAIL > Volume 4(2); 2011 > Notes & Comments
Research Paper
Published online: November 30, 2011

Problems and Practices in Maritime Delimitation in East Asia: With Special Reference to Taiwan

Michael Sheng-ti Gau
National Taiwan Ocean University, Taiwan.
No. 2 Pei-Ning Road, Keelung 20224 Taiwan ROC.
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 countries in East Asia continue to have problems in maritime boundary delimitation. The collision on September 7, 2010 between a Chinese fishing vessel (Minjinyu) and a Japanese patrol boat in the waters near Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands is interesting to observe as a step in dispute settlement process. The differences between the PRC and Japan on maritime boundary delimitation for the East China Sea and the legal status of Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands are demonstrated by this incident. To see things in their context, it is necessary to observe the practices of East Asian countries in handling their maritime boundary delimitations, especially those involving islands with disputed legal status. The rules of international law relating to the pacific settlement of dispute and maritime delimitation dispute resolution, which involve a preliminary sovereignty dispute over islands, are also relevant as a much broader background. The author will examine why certain maritime delimitation cases are particularly hard to handle. The lessons drawn from this paper is inspiring for Taiwan, a long-time marginalized player in East Asian regional affairs. The author will examine the difficulties and opportunities for Taiwan in maritime boundary delimitation and offer a suggestion on how to accomplish such task with neighboring countries.

Keywords : Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, Japan's Northern Territories, Maritime Boundary Delimitation, JDZ, Taiwan, Minjinyu

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