VII JEAIL 2 (2014)
International arbitration, as a neutral, flexible, efficient and binding legal
means of dispute resolution, has been effective in settling maritime delimitation
disputes, especially in recent years since the UNCLOS came into force.
There are a number of reasons (i.e. advantages) for its increased popularity.
Reasonable expectations thus arise as to its applicability onto similar maritime
delimitation disputes of the East Asian countries whose diplomatic efforts have
mostly failed to address these matters. This article examines this practical issue
primarily from the legal perspective by reviewing relevant international rules
including the UNCLOS provisions on compulsory dispute resolution and cases
such as the ongoing Philippines-China arbitration over the South China Sea.
Observations are also made from the political and cultural perspectives as well.
It concludes that, though multiple dispute settlement means are still encouraged,
international arbitration could be an important alternative for East Asian
countries seeking a peaceful solution to their maritime delimitation disputes.
Maritime Delimitation, Dispute Resolution, International Arbitration,
UNCLOS, Compulsory Procedures, East Asia
of Maritime Delimitation:
An Alternative for
∗ Assistant professor at Zhejiang University Guanghua Law School, China. B.A. (Tsinghua), Ph.D. (CU Hong Kong).
ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5490-9218. This paper has been supported by China’s National Social Sciences
Research Funding Program (13CFX121) and the 985 Ocean Law Project of Zhejiang University. The author is grateful
to his former colleagues Aloysius Llamzon, Yanying Li and Annie Lespérance at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in
The Hague. The views expressed here are solely those of the author and are not to be attributed in any form to the PCA
or the Chinese government. The usual disclaimer applies. The author may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org/
Address: Guanghua Law School, Zhejiang University, 51 Zhijiang Road, 310008, Hangzhou, China.