Naval War College Review


On 25 February 1992, the National People's Congress, China's nominal legislative body, passed the Law of the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone and formally legalized the People's Republic of China's maritime territorial claims.1 Article 2 of the Law listed a number of unsettled archipelagos in the western Pacific as China's inherited maritime territories.2 Three months later, the PRC announced that it had signed a joint contract with the Crestone Energy Corporation of the United States for oil exploration in an offshore block contiguous to a Vietnamese oil field.