|James Kraska, Professor of International Maritime Law at the US Naval War College
In an interview with VOV, Kraska said China’s announcement about “Xisha” and “Nansha” is a way to flex its muscles on the “Four Sha” plan that China introduced in 2017, which is really just a variation of the “9-dash line” rejected by the the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2016.
Professor Kraska said that China's creation of its "Xisha" and "Nansha" is seriously detrimental to regional stability, infringing another country's sovereignty, sovereign rights, and political independence. China's deployment of its military forces to these districts violates Article 2.4 of the UN Charter, which China also violated in 1974 by using armed force to illegally occupy Hoang Sa archipelago, Kraska added.
Kraska said China’s act is a violation of Article 87 and 58 of the 1982 UNCLOS, which clearly establish freedom of navigation and aviation in this region. It’s obvious that China is using other countries’ efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic as cover for pursuing its strategic objectives in the East Sea, he said. He called for a stronger world protest against China’s unlawful acts.