While countries with overlapping claims over the South China Sea are actively or passively opposing China’s exorbitant claim in the maritime zone, Taiwan has asserted its own claim as well.
Taiwan’s sudden interest in the dispute has left ASEAN neighbors wondering. This, according to some observers, makes Taiwan’s real interest in the dispute fishy, Forbes reported. But the recent ruling of the UN-sanctioned tribunal in The Hague has made Taiwan’s position in the case shaky, particularly in reference to its long held Taiping Island.
It is because the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, in its July-12 ruling, made it clear that tiny islets or any land areas cannot generate its own exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
According to the report, the Taiping Island, which has been annexed by Taiwan, has a land area of around 1,400 km by 400 km. This means Taiwan could not claim ownership of a significant area in the contested maritime zone within 200 nautical miles from island.
Or, at the very least, assert itself as a party to the territorial dispute like the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei, among others. After all, Taiwan is, in some respect, under the sovereignty of China.
It can be recalled, as previously reported by Morning News USA, that the PCA ruled on July 12 that China’s self-imposed nine-dash line rule is inconsistent with international laws, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The ruling, which favors the Philippines, also upholds the EEZs of the countries in the region consistent with UNCLOS.