|Competing Claims of Vietnam and China in the Vanguard Bank and Blue Dragon Areas of the South China Sea - Part I|
This article addresses the question of how the International Court of Justice (ICI) or an international arbitral tribunal applying the international law of the sea, would delimit maritime boundaries in the South China Sea with respect to the seabed and subsoil resources of the areas known as Vanguard Bank and Blue Dragon. The Vanguard Bank area has been licensed by China to Crestone Energy Corporation. The Blue Dragon area has been licensed by Vietnam to Mobil Oil Company and others.
The article begins with a brief description of the geography of the South China Sea and a history of the claims made by States in the region of the Sea south of 15° north latitude which includes the Vanguard Bank and Blue Dragon areas as well as the Spratlys. Second, the applicable principles of international law are discussed. Third, the legal bases of the Chinese and Vietnamese claims are analyzed in the light of those principles. Finally, the prospects for resolution of the dispute are briefly addressed. The article will appear in two parts, the third and fourth areas being dealt with in the second part.
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