Beijing: Asserting its sovereignty over the disputed islands held by Japan, China on Sunday said it would submit its claims of the outer limits of continental shelf in East China Sea to the UN, which could clash with claims by the Japanese.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry today said that China has decided to submit its Partial Submission Concerning the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf beyond 200 Nautical Miles in the East China Sea to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
According to the long-standing position of the Chinese government, "the natural prolongation of the continental shelf of China in the East China Sea extends to the Okinawa Trough and beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea of China is measured," state-run Xinhua quoted the ministry as saying.
The move came as China announced new baselines for its maritime boundaries after asserting its right over the Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea called Senkaku islands by Japan after Japanese government bought them from a private party a few days back.
The new baselines could constitute its baseline to back its claims over the continental shelf.
China has also pressed its maritime vessels to patrol the waters and asked the Japanese Coast Guard vessels to vacate the place.
The islands are currently controlled Japan.
The Chinese government submitted to the commission its Preliminary Information Indicative of the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles in May 2009, which stated that "China is making preparations for the submission of the information on the outer limits of the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles" and that "China intends to issue a submission" at an appropriate date.
The ministry said technical preparations for China`s State Oceanic Administration`s submission "are close to being completed," it said.
According to relevant provisions of the UNCLOS, if the continental shelf of a coastal state extends beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured, information on the limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles shall be submitted by the coastal state to the commission, it said.
The commission shall make recommendations to the coastal state on matters related to the establishment of the outer limits of its continental shelf, the ministry said.