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Law of the People's Republic of China Concerning the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone - 1992

(Adopted by the 24th Session of the Standing Committee of the Seventh National People's Congress on February 25, 1992, promulgated by Order No.55 of the President of the People's Republic of China on February 25, 1992, and effective on the date of promulgation)

 

Article 1
This Law is formulated in order to exercise the sovereignty of the People's Republic of China within its territorial sea and its jurisdiction within its contiguous zone and to safeguard the state security and maritime rights and interests.

Article 2
The territorial sea of the People's Republic of China is a belt of maritime area adjacent to the land territory and the internal waters of the People's Republic of China.

The land territory of the People's Republic of China includes the mainland of the People's Republic of China and its offshore islands, Taiwan and all islands appertaining thereto including the Diaoyu Islands; the Penghu Islands; the Dongsha Islands; the Xisha Islands; the Zhongsha Islands and the Nansha Islands; as well as all the other islands that belong to the People's Republic of China.

The internal waters of the People' Republic of China are those waters which lie on the landward side of the baseline of the territorial sea of the People's Republic of China.

Article 3
The breadth of the territorial sea of the People's Republic of China is twelve sea miles, measured from the baseline of the territorial sea.

Utilizing the straight baseline system, the baseline of the territorial sea of the People's Republic of China is delimited and composed of all the straight lines joining the adjacent base points.

The outer limit of the territorial sea of the People's Republic of China is a line that the distance between every point of this line and the nearest point of the baseline of the territorial sea equals twelve sea miles.

Article 4
The contiguous zone of the People's Republic of China is a zone of sea beyond the territorial sea and contiguous to the territorial sea. The breadth of the contiguous zone is twelve sea miles.

The outer limit of the contiguous zone of the People's Republic of China is a line that the distance between every point of this line and the nearest point of the baseline of the territorial sea equals twenty-four sea miles.

Article 5
The sovereignty of the People's Republic of China over its territorial sea extends to superjacent air space, subjacent bed and subsoil of the territorial sea.

Article 6
Foreign non-military ships enjoy the right of innocent passage through the territorial sea of the People's Republic of China according to law.

The entry of a foreign military ship into the territorial sea of the People's Republic of China must be subject to the approval of the Government of the People's Republic of China.

Article 7
In the passage through the territorial sea of the People's Republic of China, foreign submarines and other underwater vehicles must navigate on the sea surface and fly their flags.

Article 8
At the time of passing through the territorial sea of the People's Republic of China, foreign ships must abide by the laws and regulations of the People's Republic of China and may not prejudice the peace, security and good order of the People's Republic of China.

Foreign nuclear-powered ships and ships which carry nuclear, noxious or other dangerous substances must, at the time of passing through the territorial sea of the People's Republic of China, carry relevant certificates and take special precautionary measures.

In order to prevent and forbid non-innocent passage through its territorial sea, the Government of the People's Republic of China has power to take all necessary measures.

In the event a foreign ship violates the laws or regulations of the People's Republic of China, the appropriate organ of the People's Republic of China is to deal with the violation according to law.

Article 9
For the purpose of the safety of shipping or other special needs, the Government of the People's Republic of China may demand that foreign ships use the designated sea lanes or navigate according to the prescribed traffic separation schemes at the time of passing through the territory sea of the People's Republic of China. The Government of the People's Republic of China or its appropriate competent departments shall promulgate the concrete measures.

Article 10
Where, during the course of the passage through the territory sea of the People's Republic of China, a foreign military ship or a ship of foreign government with non-commercial purposes violates the laws or regulations of the People's Republic of China, the appropriate competent organ of the People's Republic of China has power to order the ship to leave immediately the territorial sea and if loss or damage is caused, the flag state shall hold international responsibility.

Article 11
Activities such as scientific research and marine operations within the territorial sea of the People's Republic of China, which are conducted by any international organization or foreign organization or individual must be subject to approval of the Government of the People's Republic of China or its appropriate competent departments and in conformity to the laws and regulations of the People's Republic of China.

Whoever, in violation of the provisions of the preceding paragraph, enters illegally the territorial sea of the People's Republic of China to conduct such activities as scientific research and marine operations will be treated by the appropriate organ of the People's Republic of China according to law.

Article 12
Subject to a treaty or agreement signed between the Government of a foreign country and the Government of the People's Republic of China, or to approval or acceptance by the Government of the People's Republic of China or the organ authorized by it, an aircraft of the foreign country may only enter the superjacent air space of the territorial sea of the People's Republic of China.

Article 13
In order to prevent and punish the violations of the laws or regulations concerning security, the customs, finance, sanitation or entry and exit control within its land territory, internal waters or territorial sea, the People's Republic of China has power to exercise jurisdiction within the contiguous zone .

Article 14
The appropriate competent organ of the People's Republic of China which has adequate causes to believe that a foreign ship violates the laws or regulations of the People's Republic of China may exercise the right of hot pursuit against the foreign ship.

The pursuit must start at the time when a foreign ship or one of its boats or other crafts engaged in activities by using the ship pursued as their mother ship is within the internal waters, the territory sea or the contiguous zone of the People's Republic of China.

In the event a foreign ship is within the contiguous zone of the People's Republic of China, the pursuit may only be done, subject to infringement of the rights as provided for in the relevant laws or regulations listed in Article 13 of this Law.

So long as a pursuit is not interrupted, it may be continued outside the territorial sea or the contiguous zone of the People's Republic of China. At the time when the ship pursued enters the territorial sea of its own country or of a third country, the pursuit ends.

Military ships and aircraft of the People's Republic of China or ships and aircraft which are on official duties with authorization of the Government of the People's Republic of China will exercise the right of hot pursuit as provided in this Article.

Article 15
The Government of the People's Republic of China is to publish the baseline of the territorial sea of the People's Republic of China.

Article 16
The Government of the People's Republic of China is to formulate relevant regulations according to this Law.

Article 17
This Law shall enter into effect on the date of promulgation.

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