Journal of East Asia and International Law (JEAIL) 제11권 제1호 (p.53-54)

Historic or Historical? Lost in Translation of “li shi xing quan li” in the South China Sea Arbitration

키워드 :
li shi xing quan li,Historic Rights,South China Sea Arbitration,China’s EEZ/CS Act,UNCLOS


In the South China Sea Arbitration, the Chinese term-“li shi xing quan li” was mistranslated into “historic rights short of title,” regardless of the official English translation provided by Chinese government and preserved by international organizations. ‘quan li’ connotes a categorical meaning covering sovereignty and non-sovereignty rights, while “li shi xing” relates to claims and conduct historically before 1982. China’s “li shi xing quan li” in the SCS developed with the history of the general category of historic rights-an umbrella concept connoting both exclusive historic title and non-exclusive historic sovereign rights. It included China’s exclusive sovereignty over nansha qundao in the SCS and its non-exclusive sovereign rights in part of SCS. The Arbitral Tribunal’s negligence of the conceptual difference led to uncertainty in China’s maximum maritime entitlements in the SCS and reasonable doubt about its decision on the Philippines’ Submissions 1 and 2.