Maritime cooperation in contested waters: addressing legal challenges in East and Southeast Asian waters’ (NBR Special Report no.37 - pp1-6)
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The semi-enclosed maritime spaces located off East and Southeast Asia are perhaps the most disputed maritime spaces in the world. They host a complex range of territorial and maritime disputes featuring multiple players. These disputes are also multifaceted in that they encompass a complex range of distinct yet often interrelated challenges, including excessive claims to baselines; territorial sovereignty disputes over numerous islands as well as discord over the capacity of predominantly small, isolated, and uninhabited insular features to support extensive claims to maritime spaces; fundamentally opposing views on the basis for maritime entitlements; and disputes over access to valuable marine resources. While many of these sources of contention are long-standing, significant recent developments have been evident, affecting these disputes in both positive and negative ways.