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Diaoyu Islands baseline announcement significant: Chinese diplomat


08:34, September 14, 2012

BEIJING, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government's announcement of the baselines of the territorial waters of the Diaoyu Islands and their affiliated islets is of great significance, a Chinese diplomat has explained.

"By doing so, we can proclaim to the international community our indisputable sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands and the firm determination of our government and people to safeguard our territorial sovereignty and maritime interests," Deng Zhonghua, head of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs with the Foreign Ministry, said in an interview with China Central Television on Thursday.

It is also a powerful countermeasure and deterrent to behaviors that infringe upon China's territorial sovereignty. In accordance with international laws, China will file a copy of the table of coordinates and charts with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Deng said.

The baseline announcement is an important step for China to improve the territorial water system, according to Deng.

In defining the boundaries of the territorial and internal waters, China has the legal basis for its jurisdiction of the waters surrounding the Diaoyu Islands in line with its domestic law and international law, he continued.

The diplomat introduced the concepts of territorial sea, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone, and baseline. In particular, he explained the baselines of the territorial sea of the Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated islets announced by the Chinese government on Sept. 10.

Deng said that, according to the statement on territorial sea made by China in 1958, the nation has set 12 nautical miles as the width of its territorial sea. China promulgated the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone in 1992, thus formulating this basic system in the form of law.

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