John D. Ciorciari quoted in International Business Times article, "Sino-Vietnamese tensions boil over South China Sea"

June 10, 2011

John D. Ciorciari was quoted in an International Business Times article about rising tensions between Vietnam and China over drilling rights in the South China Sea.

Vietnam accused Chinese ships of cutting cables of two Vietnamese vessels that were mapping oil deposits in the South China Sea. Vietnam called these acts "premeditated" as both countries claim sovereignty of these waters. "Tensions could become very serious as maritime incidents inflame competing nationalisms," Ciorciari told the International Business Times.

"Under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, ownership of [oceanic] oil and gas reserves hinges not only on their proximity to the claimants' borders but also on whether various atolls and reefs are considered islands and how sovereignty over those islands is awarded," said Ciorciari. But because this information is sometimes difficult to determine, Ciorciari explained that a "legal resolution would have to be based either on an international adjudication of the competing claims or a messier patchwork of bilateral accords."