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Malaysia should embrace compliance on its overlapping continental shelf claim

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tải xuốngRecently, international observers have been puzzled to see Malaysia undertaking oil and gas operations in the overlapping extended continental shelf area defined by its 2009 joint submission with Vietnam to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS). As reported by AMTI, the West Capella, a drillship contracted by Malaysian national oil and gas company Petronas, entered and began operations within the “Joint Defined Area” on December 21, 2019. This move has provoked a three-way standoff between Malaysia, China, and Vietnam involving warships, coastguard, militia, and civilian vessels. Why would Malaysia choose to ignore its 2009 joint submission with Vietnam and undermine ASEAN solidarity?

Whatever its motivations, Malaysia should err on the side of caution. Instead of venturing into undertakings in the Joint Defined Area which may not be lawful, Malaysia should consider doing what is certain to be consistent with international law.

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