ABC wrote:Number 3 of Article 58 also says that such ships in the EEZ have to respect and follow the laws of the coastal state. It's a gross misinterpretation to say just because it's a military vessel it can do whatever it wants. By this logic China or any other country can send a navy ship to as close as 12 miles to another country's coast and do whatever the hell it wants and no one can do anything about it, and this is clearly not what the convention allowed.
UNCLOS Article 58 wrote:2. Articles 88 to 115 and other pertinent rules of international law apply to the exclusive economic zone in so far as they are not incompatible with this Part.
3. In exercising their rights and performing their duties under this Convention in the exclusive economic zone, States shall have due regard to the rights and duties of the coastal State and shall comply with the laws and regulations adopted by the coastal State in accordance with the provisions of this Convention and other rules of international law in so far as they are not incompatible with this Part.
That is exactly what the conventions allows. The EEZ is an economic zone. It isn't an extension of territorial waters out to 200 nautical miles. The ships that fall under number 3 of Article 58 are the ones specifically mentioned within the text of number 3. Those ships are those that are exercising their rights and performing their duties with regards to economic exploitation or scientific gathering within the EEZ. China can put all the regulations on warships that she wants but warships in the EEZ are not covered. Warships are excluded under number 3 because China cannot put regulations on warships flying a flag other than her own. That is specifically clear in the convention. That makes China's regulations on what warships can do, even surveillance ships, incompatible with Article 58 number 3.
It's a gross misinterpretation to try and think that another country can put rules and regulations for governing warships when that is clearly contrary to the convention.
Also for determining peaceful purpose it doesn't matter if the ship itself is designated military or scientific. You could have civilian ship doing work for the military, or military ship doing scientific experiment. The important thing is how the data collected is used, thus the "purpose" of the ship. And the purpose of the ship in question was to collect data to support undersea warfare, which is clearly not a peaceful purpose.
And you're splitting hairs trying to differentiate surveillance and scientific exploration. Any ship can be looking around and say they're doing one or the other. In any case, they're both subject to regulation.
Not splitting hairs at all. There is no mention in the EEZ about peaceful purpose. That is in the Article on territorial waters. It is clear that in territorial waters you must have peaceful purposes. That is not written in the Article on EEZ so therefore it is not a requirement. If it was a requirement it would be written into the Article. The purpose does not matter. Scientific exploration is under the regulation of the coastal state, as per Article 58 number 3. Military ships fall under Article 58 number 2, and are not subject to the regulations of any other nation except the nation of their flag.
When a civilian vessel is commissioned by the government, it becomes a government vessel.
Fair enough. Then it was the Chinese government's vessels which violated the requirement under international law to operate with due regard for the rights and safety of other lawful users of the ocean. You can't turn across the bow of another ship with only 100 yards of space, forcing them to make an emergency stop.
And you know what? I'm still waiting for definitive legal proof on the claim that what the Chinese did was illegal. You want to say it's illegal? Well then where in the law, the very same law the US hasn't signed and think it doesn't have to follow but the rest of the world does, does it say it's illegal? It's only fair for me to ask.
If the US vessel is a warship as you have stated yourself, then you can't go about trying to interfere with her operations or putting her crew at risk with stupid stunts. What China did, by turning in front of another vessel without a safe distance, was an aggressive act that put both crews at risk. As I stated before, China does exercise the same rights and control over her EEZ as she does over her territorial waters. They are two distinct concepts to the rest of the world outside of China.