The East China Sea deal - details


So here goes the map. I did not have good tools and hence the location points are approximate.

The 7 coordinates for the corners of the heptagon are

  • 1、北纬29°31′,东经125°53′30
  • 2、北纬29°49′,东经125°53′30″
  • 3、北纬30°04′,东经126°03′45″
  • 4、北纬30°00′,东经126°10′23″
  • 5、北纬30°00′,东经126°20′00″
  • 6、北纬29°55′,东经126°26′00″
  • 7、北纬29°31′,东经126°26′00″
It basically includes both the disputed area and a little big of the Chinese side (i.e. west of Japan's claimed "central line", to show goodwill from the Chinese side). This is south of Longjing/Asunaro. The total area is about 2700 sq km, i.e. about 2.5 times the area of Hong Kong land area. (共同資源探査は、日本が開発対象として主張してきた四つのガス田のうち、「翌檜(あすなろ)=中国名・龍井=ガス田」の南側約2700平方キロメートルの海域で実施する。探査の後、開発地点を決める。今後、詳細を詰め、早期の条約締結を目指す。)
  • Note that Longjing has been explored by China (was among the first area to be explored) but for some reason it had not been exploited. One of the reasons could be the quality/concentration ("含油气构造") of the gas content underneath. This is something China may need Japanese technology to solve.
  • 从70年代始,中国勘测东海石油,在浙江以东海大陆架盆地中部发现了被命名为“西湖凹陷”的大型储油地带。自1980年在东海首次钻探龙井一号井成功以来,中国在“西湖凹陷”钻井30口,其中20口获高产工业油气流。经过这20多年的勘探,中国在“西湖凹陷”,开发出了平湖、春晓、天外天、断桥、残雪、宝云亭、武云亭、和孔雀亭等8个油气田。春晓油田位于北纬28度10至40分、东经124度50分至125度20分间。在台湾东北方约193.65,位于东海西湖凹陷区域,由春晓、残雪、断桥、天外天等4个油气田组成,总面积2.2万平方公里。此外,还有玉泉、龙井、孤山等若干大型含油气构造。该海域所蕴藏的250亿吨石油。据称,中国已将石油视为关系国家安全的战略资源,而该区油气,足以供中国使用80年
It seems to be a pragmatic first step to test the implementation and terms for "co-development". If the model proves to be successful, the two countries will extend the agreement to a larger area, gradually, and chose the extended area based on experiences accumulated in exploring and exploiting this heptagon.

The location is probably also chosen because it is somewhere where both sides currently has accumulated little geological knowledge (hence "fair" to both sides).

One very important note is that the designated area is near the north edge of the gas field. It is as far from Diaoyu as it could be. Therefore, any resolution of Diaoyu dispute is not likely to change the demarcation of this 2700 sq km area. (However, Diaoyu has implication on the Chinese claim for Okinawa Trench because it is located on the Chinese continental shelf)
  • Mark Valencia had argued that recent trends means that it is possible to separate Diaoyu from East China Sea dispute. In that the EEZ can be resolved before any resolution on Diaoyu.
  • "The Sino-Japanese conflict has two fundamental dimensions:
    the sovereignty dispute over the Diaoyu (Senkaku) islands and
    the delimitation of a boundary for the vast EEZ and continental
    shelf of the East China Sea. Many commentators have considered
    The East China Sea Dispute 165
    the issues inseparable. They view settlement of the first as a necessary
    condition for the second. However, this view is outdated.
    Recent legal developments, international adjudications, state
    practice, and the ratification of the Law of the 1982 UNCLOS by
    the claimants point to the possibility of separating the two issues.
    Islands of similar location, economic utility, and legal status to
    those of the Diaoyutai/Senkakus have invariably been ignored in
    seabed boundary delimitations between opposite states. This
    suggests that regardless of their ultimate owner, the features will
    only have a maximum 12-nautical mile territorial sea around
    them. They will not be permitted to generate their own continental
    shelf or EEZ beyond that limit. The implication of this conclusion
    for the Sino-Japanese maritime conflict is that the territorial
    and jurisdictional issues are separable and that the latter may be
    dealt with before the former is finally resolved. Agreement on
    the irrelevance of the Diaoyutai/Senkaku territorial dispute to,
    and detaching it from, the Sino-Japanese jurisdictional controversy
    would therefore be a major milestone on the path toward a
    solution. Indeed if such agreement were reached it would indicate
    that a boundary ignoring these features can be negotiated."

Finally, as speculated before, the terms for Japanese investment in Chunxiao seems to be much alike that of a normal Joint Venture in South China Sea. (三、关于日本法人依照中国法律参加春晓油气田开发的谅解 中国企业欢迎日本法人按照中国对外合作开采海洋石油资源的有关法律,参加对春晓现有油气田的开发。 中日两国政府对此予以确认,并努力就进行必要的换文达成一致,尽早缔结。双方为此履行必要的国内手续。) (合意によると、白樺の開発を進める中国企業に、日本企業が一定の比率で出資、中間線より中国側の海域で、中国の法律に基づいて開発を進める。出資企業や比率、利益の配分方法などは今後、調整する。)

update: from Mainichi Shinbun

日中就共同開發東海油氣田正式達成共識 ■共同社(2008.06.18)

related links
Final Reality MMVIII (Shikasu agrees with me in much louder words of "it is impossible to send even one cubic meter of the natural gas under the East China Sea to Japan (there is a trough in the way) without sending the gas first to the coast of China via a seabed pipeline, the fight over development of the gas resources was largely about pride (hokori))

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