Law of the Sea and Rights of the Sea

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.9, 2017


Law of the Sea and Rights of the Sea



Yang Hua


Within their sphere of sovereignty and in international public waters, the holders of rights under the international law of the sea have the right to exploit the ocean and but also the obligation to protect it and to respect other countries’ rights in accordance with domestic legislation and international treaties or conventions. Law of the sea rights discourse aims to build peace and security, freedom and equity, and an international maritime order that accords with the common interests of humanity. Law of the sea theory standardizes each country’s rights and powers, regulates conflicts and coordinates claims involving maritime interests, and balances countries’ powers and rights. China should construct a theoretical system of modern maritime laws and rights on the basis of practical experience. The country should optimize its mode of dealing with maritime disputes on the premise of law of the sea maritime rights theory; should improve Chinese maritime legislation on the basis of that theory; should exercise its soft law role guided by that theory; should gain the support of international organizations by taking law of the sea maritime rights as a bond; should participate creatively in the construction of law of the sea institutions within the framework of that theory; and should build up its discourse power and sovereign rights within the construction of the international order of law of the sea.