Twice a day, the sea rises up the shore then falls back again
in tides. However, the effect is only local. While the tide
is rising in one place, it is falling in another, as huge forces are
exerted on the vast mass of water in the oceans.
Tides fall in one place and rise in another because the water in
the oceans is moving around, flowing this way and that across the
face of the planet, so that it piles up in one place, making the tide
flow in, and drops away in another, making the tide ebb. It is this
continual ebb and flow of ocean water that makes many simple
explanations of why tides occur misleading or wrong.
INFORMAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN ITALY, MALTA ON MORATORIUM OFFSHORE SICILY A new chapter has opened in the relations between Italy and Malta: Rome and Valletta agreed “informally” to suspend oil drilling in the Southeastern area of Sicily where the respective claims are overlapped.
The political commitment given by the two Countries allows to glimpse prospects for resolving their long standing dispute on the delimitation of the continental shelf (CS) as well as expresses the always excellent level of their bilateral relations. The agreement must be however followed by the formal delimitation of the maritime boundary. Moreover there is a third party concerned to be considered: Libya, whose continental shelf borders the hypothetical limits of both Italy and Malta’s CS.
In May 1999 Denmark and the United Kingdom concluded an agreement (1999 Agreement) concerning their overlapping claims to fisheries zones and continental shelf in North Atlantic waters located between the Faroe Islands and Scotland. The 1999 Agreement designates continental shelf and fisheries zone boundaries in addition to a ‘Special Area’ of water column that remains subject to the overlapping jurisdictional claims both States.
In 1993 Colombia and Jamaica concluded a treaty (1993 Treaty) concerning their overlapping claims to a continental shelf and EEZ in the Caribbean Sea. Article 1 of the 1993 Treaty establishes a maritime boundary between the two States. Immediately to the west of the boundary, the 1993 Treaty also establishes a ‘Joint Regime Area’ in which, ‘pending the determination of the jurisdictional limits of each Party …, the Parties agree to establish … a zone of joint management, control, exploration and exploitation of living and non-living resources’. Article 3(1), sub-paragraphs (b) and (c) of the 1993 Treaty exclude two circular areas of 12 nautical miles radius from the Joint Regime Area. One circular area surrounds the cays of the Seranilla Bank and the other surrounds the cays of Bajo Nuevo. Both of these groups of features are claimed by Colombia – a claim that has been disputed on various occasions by Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua and the United States.
The establishment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was proclaimed by Mao Zedong on October 1, 1949 at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. This followed two decades of almost constant turmoil that took the form of a prolonged civil war between the Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang (KMT), and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as well as the Japanese invasion of China, which resulted in the eight year Sino-Japanese War (1937–45). Following Chiang Kai-shek’s split with the CCP after his massacre of thousands of Communists in Shanghai in March 1927, the Nationalists were soon faced with a series of armed insurrections led by the Communists in cities such as Nanchang and Guangzhou. These uprisings ultimately proved unsuccessful. The Communists were driven into the countryside, where the Nationalists proceeded to wage a total of five campaigns of “extermination” between 1930 and 1934, aimed at achieving a comprehensive victory. The success of the fifth campaign in encircling and strangling the Communists led the latter to abandon their base in Jiangxi Province in October 1934 and stage the famous “Long March,” a 4,000-mile journey to establish a new base in Shaanxi in northwest China. China would soon be faced by the even greater threat of external invasion. The Japanese had established a presence in Manchuria by 1931. Growing domestic expansionist pressures led to an undeclared war with China following the “Marco Polo Bridge Incident” on July 7, 1937. Following the outbreak of hostilities, the Communists and Nationalists formed a “United Front” with the goal of defeating the Japanese, although the conflict between the CCP and the KMT was never resolved. Despite its initial success in taking many of the key coastal cities, including Shanghai, and eventually the Nationalist capital of Nanjing, the Japanese advance soon stalled. The Japanese army was never able to penetrate deep into the Chinese countryside. The Japanese surrender on August 14, 1945, following the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, plunged China back into civil war. The Communists soon gained the upper hand, eventually driving the KMT out of China and into Taiwan, paving the way for the establishment of the People’s Republic of China.
The pending maritime delimitations between Spain and Morocco are highly complex and noteworthy due to the existence of diverse factors, namely the particularity that the delimitations shall be conducted in two different seas: the Alboran Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Moreover, various sovereignty issues must be addressed, such as the Spanish enclaves in North Africa, which are claimed by Morocco generating maritime entitlements, and the Western Sahara dispute and Morocco’s intention to include the Western Sahara maritime areas under its jurisdiction. In terms of the latter issue, this article studies the fisheries agreements concluded between the European Union and Morocco and the recent decisions given by the Court of Justice of the European Union, declaring those agreements prohibited under international law in respect of Western Sahara waters. Other significant matters analyzed are the views of both countries, the existence of several overlapping maritime claims with third States and the negotiations that have been carried out thus far to reach an agreement delimiting the maritime boundaries. On this subject, it is crucial to determine whether a tacit agreement exists – on the basis of the hydrocarbon activities licensed by Spain and Morocco – establishing the maritime boundary between the Canary Islands and Morocco’s Atlantic coast.
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