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The original Eleven Dash Line map of 1947 was a locator map, using 11 dashes to outline the location of where China's South China Sea islands are found. In simple logic, China's islands in the South China Sea over which she exercises absolute sovereignty are all found within the 11-Dash line, i.e., is a subset of the area delimited by the 11 dashed line. |
The 11-Dash Line was not a marker of maritime sovereignty, because sovereignty is based on land ownership.
However, the 11-Dash Line serves a very useful purpose in making the world aware that China DOES HAVE MORE THAN TWO HUNDRED SOVEREIGNLY HELD ISLANDS inside the 11-Dash Line in the South China Sea. By lawful extension, if each of these two hundred islands have an EEZ of 200 nautical miles in radius, and one nautical mile equals 1.852 kilometers, the maximum area of EEZ based on these islands alone (not counting the EEZ based on China's mainland's coastline) should be 200*Pi*(200*1.852)^2 square kilometers. This equals 86.2 million square kilometers of surface area.
The surface area of the entire South China Sea is only 3.5 million square kilometers.
Accounting for the necessary overlaps of the EEZ's of these islands even, China's claim of 80% of the EEZ's of the South China Sea, i.e. 2.8 million square kilometers, is actually very conservative compared with the potential size of the EEZ it could have claimed if there were no overlapping EEZ's between her own islands, of 86.2 million square kilometers. China's EEZ claim is only 3.25% of the theoretical size of EEZ she could have claimed if her 200+ islands were more widely and evenly dispersed. Having an Exclusive Economic Zone does confer on its holder rights to prevent other countries from exploiting the marine and mineral resources of said areas. Thus, Chinese coast guard patrols in the South China Sea are not an attempt to invade the sovereign territories of other countries, as they do not go closer than 12 miles from the coast of foreign islands. They are exercising FREEDOM OF NAVIGATION in the open seas between the territorial seas of the islands, and also its RIGHT OF EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC EXPLOITATION of its EEZ's.
If you consider the 11-Dash Line the bathwater, and wish to throw it away, remember, the bath tub holds a real baby, which are China's sovereign islands in the South China Sea, and China has every right under the UN Charter to defend them from being violated, as well as under UNCLOS to defend their EEZ's from being exploited by other countries. This is based on international law, unlike the Kangaroo Panel that violated Article 298 of the UNCLOS in arbitrating matters involving sovereignty without the consent of the two parties involved, whose result is equally in violation of the UNCLOS, and therefore is not binding, not final, and not even legal at all.