Legal Principles of and Application Conditions for Relevant Provisions on the Continental Shelf under the UNCLOS
【中文摘要】《联合国海洋法公约》（以下简称“《公约》”在确认沿海国拥有200海里专属经济区主权权利以外，《公约》第76条关于大陆架的定义中还规定沿海国可根据各自的地形和地质条件将其大陆架扩展到200海里以外，所扩展的 距离根据《公约》第76条的有关规定执行。由于《公约》第76条所定义的大陆架是法律意义的大陆架，是一个科学与法律政治的结合体，也是不同政治利益集团 之间妥协的产物，因此在具体操作中存在一定的复杂性，尤其是“洋脊”问题。《公 约》第76条中规定的“洋脊”可以分为深洋洋脊、海底洋脊和海底高地三种情况， 而不同类型的洋脊有着不同的划界距离标准。目前许多沿海国，尤其是各岛国都 期望利用有关“洋脊”条款中的规定来扩展他们的外大陆架。因此我们必须加强 对《公约》第76条的法理和应用条件研究，真正掌握并正确援用有关法律的依据、 原则和条件，为维护我国合法权益、为我国200海里以外大陆架的申请提供参考， 同时弄清各沿海国的外大陆架划界主张，以便确定我们的应对原则和政策。 【Abstract】Apart from affirming the sovereign rights of coastal States over its exclusive economic zone, which stretches from the baseline to 200 nautical miles into the sea, Article 76 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (hereinafter referred to as the “Convention”）also provides that the continental shelf of a coastal State can be extended for a certain distance beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured in consideration of its topographical and geological conditions, as specified under Article 76. Since the definition of the “continental shelf” is provided as a legal concept under Article 76 of the Convention, therefore it is not only an outcome of the combination of legal factors and political elements, but is also a compromise reached among various political interest groups. However, the complexity lies in the application of the provisions of Article 76, especially those regarding the “ridge”, which can be divided into three categories (i.e., ocean ridges, submarine ridges, and submarine elevations) in accordance with Article 76 of the Convention. In the current context where various island States are making attempts to extend their outer continental shelf through tactful interpretation and application of relevant provisions regarding “ridge” under the Convention, it becomes imperative for China to master and correctly apply the provisions of the Convention to safeguard its legal rights and interests. Moreover, in order to be in a favorable position to make corresponding delimitation principles and policies, China must have clarity on the delimitation claims of interested island States and their basis of claims to achieve desired delimitation results.