Freeze the tropical seas. An ice-cool prescription for the burning Spratly issues!
Recently, the Spratly crisis erupted again. This time, a Sino-Filipino military confrontation took place in the Philippines-claimed area of the archipelago. Although both sides demonstrated a high degree of self-control, the old problem remains and could explode again at any time. The reason for the latest episode is not difficult to understand. Past efforts only touched upon the tip of the iceberg. While calling for shelving of the sovereignty issue, they never indicated how this was to be brought about and very little progress has been made in the negotiations in the past several years. The author submits that the only solution, for the present at least, is the Antarctic formula. Although one might argue that the Antarctic regime, at first sight, does not fit the Spratly situation, the legal foundation of the claims to the Spratlies is comparable to that in the Antarctic case. Moreover, there are no sector claims in the disputed area, which makes the Antarctic approach even more appropriate in the South China Sea.
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