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China's stance on continental shelf valid

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-08-16 17:12

BEIJING - China's position on the demarcation of the continental shelf in the East China Sea is legally and scientifically valid, Chinese oceanic authorities said after presenting their position to a United Nations commission on Thursday.

The Chinese delegation presented for the first time on Thursday its position regarding the specific location of the demarcation of the continental shelf, evidence for the extension of the continental shelf, and scientific evidence for defining the outer limit of the continental shelf.

According to Chen Lianzeng, deputy head of China's State Oceanic Administration (SOA), China first submitted the demarcation case in December 2012 to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS), and Thursday's presentation reiterated China's consistent position that the continental shelf of the East China Sea extends eastward to the Okinawa Trough.

"The presentation gave us an opportunity to present China's position and scientific evidence, and strengthened the fact that the continental shelf of the East China Sea extends naturally," said Li Jiabiao, deputy head of the Second Research Institute under the SOA.

Li added that, according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), China's continental shelf in the East China Sea can be extended beyond 200 nautical miles from the baseline.

According to UNCLOS and its relevant provisions, if the continental shelf of a coastal state extends beyond 200 nautical miles from the baseline, information on the limits of the continental shelf shall be submitted by the coastal state to the CLCS.

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