JEAIL > Volume 7(2); 2014 > Issue Focus
Research Paper
Published online: November 30, 2014
DOI: :

China Being A Maritime Power under the UNCLOS: Issues and Ways Ahead

Mincai Yu
Renmin University of China School of Law
59 Zhongguancun Street, Haidian District, 100872, Beijing, 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.


China has recently established a strategic goal of building herself into a maritime power. China's pursuit of this goal is interconnected with the UNCLOS. However, China faces increasingly serious challenges resulting from the application of the UNCLOS, especially the provisions in relation to the EEZ and the new continental shelf, which were strongly supported by China herself at the UNCLOS III. Drawing lessons from the participation in the UNCLOS III, this article argues that the only option for China in response to the challenges is to transform her traditional position of a coastal State into that of a maritime power by actively applying and defending the relevant UNCLOS regimes as well as taking future law-making seriously on marine biodiversity, including the marine genetic resources, beyond national jurisdiction. At the same time, China should hold an open attitude in the revision of national laws which are arguably incompatible with the UNCLOS.

Keywords : China, A Maritime Power, UNCLOS, UNCLOS III, South China Sea, Real Challenges, Possible Options, Dotted Line

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