Sunday, April 16, 2006
Chinese maritime authorities have issued notice of a ban on ship traffic in an area of the East China Sea near the median line with Japan for expansion work of the Pinghu gas field. According to Japanese Embassy sources in Beijing, the area concerned straddles the median line, which serves as the border between the two countries and extends into Japanese waters. Japan is expected to lodge a protest, which regards the median line as separating the two countries' 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zones.
According to the website of the Chinese maritime authorities, the area concerned is a zone of water extending from 27.7 N latitude 124.55 E longitude to 29.4 N latitude 124.54 E longitude. The purpose of the expansion work, from March 1 to Sept. 30 this year, is to lay pipelines and cables on the sea floor, according to the website.