Talk:Nine-dash line

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I personally question the relevance of the following line within this article:

  • "In 2010, at a regional conference in Hanoi, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton announced that "The United States has a national interest in freedom of navigation, open access to Asia's maritime commons, and respect for international law in the South China Sea". The United States has also called for unfettered access to the area that China claims as its own, and accused Beijing of adopting an increasingly aggressive stance on the high seas." - This particular line does not refer to the nine-dotted line at all, by name or through inference, but rather the United States' position on the current situation in the South China Seas regarding the island disputes. This content is already covered in South China Sea and Spratly Islands dispute, and inclusion here doesn't fit as much as it does in those two articles.

Would users be able to justify how they believe this line is relevant to the main topic, which is not the South China Seas disputes, but the nine-dotted line? -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 14:28, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

The above information is relevant to the 9 dotted line topic because the "area that China claims as its own" that Clinton mentioned is related to the 9-dotted line which China use to define territory claim in the South China Sea. This information is added to clarify a party involved which strengthen the content on "Dispute of other countries" on the 9 dotted line proposed by China. Love4eveverymuch (talk) 13:29, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't think that in itself is a valid reason for inclusion, as it essentially means that you intend on making this page a content WP:FORK (duplicate mirror?) of the South China Sea article. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 14:27, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
There is no mirror duplicate or "fork" here. The South China Sea topic is about the physical, geographical, historical and other aspects of the South China Sea where as the 9 dotted line topic is about the historical and other related aspects of the 9 dotted line. The Clinton' comment is an excellent source of information for better understanding the multifacet of both the South China Sea and 9 dotted line. Just because they are related to each other does not mean that they must be mutually exclusive. Love4eveverymuch (talk) 15:04, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

Copyright problem removed[edit]

Prior content in this article duplicated one or more previously published sources. Infringing material has been rewritten or removed and must not be restored, unless it is duly released under a compatible license. (For more information, please see "using copyrighted works from others" if you are not the copyright holder of this material, or "donating copyrighted materials" if you are.) For legal reasons, we cannot accept copyrighted text or images borrowed from other web sites or published material; such additions will be deleted. Contributors may use copyrighted publications as a source of information, but not as a source of sentences or phrases. Accordingly, the material may be rewritten, but only if it does not infringe on the copyright of the original or plagiarize from that source. Please see our guideline on non-free text for how to properly implement limited quotations of copyrighted text. Wikipedia takes copyright violations very seriously, and persistent violators will be blocked from editing. While we appreciate contributions, we must require all contributors to understand and comply with these policies. Thank you. Quigley (talk) 14:21, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Exact quotes in double quotation marks of speakers are not copyright violation provided that sources are clearly stated. Alteration of the original authors real meaning by using different words are inappropriate and should be removed as it reflects bias view of contributors and against the meaning of Wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Love4eveverymuch (talkcontribs) 12:45, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

South China Sea Debate[edit]

The Nine-Dotted line is more of an informative article that needs a bit of a news update. The South China Sea disputes should be part of the wiki link's information because of the importance it will play in the near future. I want to just go over a few things that should be taken into consideration when you are deciding to take sides on the topic. As stated in the Law of the Seat Treaty 200 nautical miles is the range of an exclusive economic zone for any given nation or country. The Spartly islands have many claimants, but which are actually valid? China is 1000 miles away from these islands and in my opinion should have no thought in claiming these islands. Even though they claim to have people living there, the Sea treaty is clear when is states that the island must have its own stable economy. China is standing strong with their stance because of the resource rich areas in the sea. Mrs. Clinton spent a lot of time in China trying to have the Chinese have an easier stance on the subject due to the political unrest it is causing with Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei(Steven & Jane, 2012). Hopefully a resolution can come quickly to this growing problem but only time will tell.

I searched some more information on a different site that should be added to the current events of the South China Sea or Nine-Dotted Line page. China's outlook on the situation was reflected on an article I found from Platts Oilgram news. The article discussed that China offered nine oil and gas blocks in the South China Sea (Oilgram, 2012). The humorous yet cause of much trouble is the fact that the location of these blocks already lie within Vietnam's own EEZ. How can China be telling Vietnam that they can have what is rightfully theirs? It seems as thought China doesn't realize that they should not be the ones making offers when they should be the ones requesting land. Vietnam had a Signed agreement with China last October and has recently been thrown aside due to the high tension between these two sovereign nations. What is more interesting is that it is creating pain even for the American's and other Maritime heavy countries which have a major trade routes that run through that area. With high tension it is clear that merchant ships trying to do their everyday operations are being disrupted costing extra operational costs and delaying trade important to the global economy.

The Global economy is a fragile network heavily reliant on trade routes that is easily disrupted. Mrs. Clinton as the Secretary of state is doing her best to help resolve this issue in a timely manner. I think it is notable to add that operational costs just trying to avoid this trade area is already costing money to maritime Industries. Many countries have interests through this location and do have rights to innocent passage, but are being impeded by nations which cant get their agreements in order. Wikipedia was a bit weak in mentioning the side affects to the Sea dispute. Even though Clinton is trying to help resolve the issue of the South China Sea disputes with it's neighboring Asian countries it doesn't seem like we are at any close possible solutions to our current problem (Lee,2012). She was working closely with them to really drive home that the real solution lies within true political power, and does not want this situation to become something it really does not need to be. Hopefully this disagreement does not turn ugly bringing in any unnecessary military threats.

Joncarton (talk) 07:06, 3 October 2012 (UTC)


Steven, L., & Jane, P. (2012, Sep 05). No movement on key disputes as clinton meets with Chinese leaders. New York Times, p.1.

Song Yen Ling, Dao Dang Toan. (July 26,2012). Vietnam against CNOOC. In Platts Oilgram News. Retrieved 10/1/2012, from

Matthew Lee. (September 10,2012). Clinton urges calm as Asian nations feud. In The Washington Post. Retrieved 10/1/2012, from

Objections to the line[edit]

"No country, including Southeast Asian countries or their past rulers, protested or challenged the validity of the 9-dash line from 1947 to 1970s." is an extraordinary claim which appears to be false. There had been border disputes for the Scarborough Shoal since at least the 50s, thereby making this statement factually incorrect. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:39, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

The nine-dotted line is a demarcation for island claims, not maritime territorial claims, according to Washington Post[edit]

Per this post by the Washington Post, the nine-dotted line isn't actually a demarcation representing claims to sea territory; it demarcates that all islands within the lines are claimed by China.

China asserts sovereignty over land features in South China Sea that lie within a so-called nine dash line on Chinese maps; it does not assert a claim to all waters within that line. China’s assertion of a right to deploy the oil rig in its current location appears to be based a Chinese claim to the nearby Paracel Islands, not the waters themselves.

The recent incident with Haiyang Shiyou 981 relates to the PRC government claiming maritime territory not on the basis of the nine-dotted line, but because it lies close to the Paracel Islands which the PRC claims (and militarily controls). Vietnamese newspapers and other domestic media keep playing the nine-dotted line as part of their rhetoric on their coverage of the Haiyang Shiyou 981 standoff, however this potentially is misinformation. --benlisquareTCE 07:23, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

I don't think anyone seriously thinks that China is claiming the water as its territory, since according to UNCLOS nations can't claim waters more than 12 nautical miles from land as territorial waters. Even if you stretch out to the 200-nautical mile EEZ according to the most generous definition of "baseline" it won't cover all of the sea within the nine-dotted line. DHN (talk) 09:05, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
Someone on an internet forum claiming to be living in Vietnam claimed that television news reporters occasionally state that China claims all waters within the nine dash line as its own. It's something that people can probably get confused over, though I guess it's nothing to be surprised over. --benlisquareTCE 09:42, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
And this is exactly the problem I've been talking about - consider this image on Wikimedia Commons:
South China Sea vector.svg
The line "China's claimed territorial waters" would be false, and possibly can even be categorised as misinformation. This is clearly a common misconception, since it appears that the same mistake is appearing almost everywhere. --benlisquareTCE 23:10, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
I've fixed that SVG image, but I'm willing to bet you that someone's going to revert me. --benlisquareTCE 23:15, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
The confusion arises from the fact that China never specified what the line means and never clearly defined the coordinates for its claims. DHN (talk) 01:44, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
UNCLOS doesn't appear to support the line whether it's a claim to the islands or the waters. Analysis of UNCLOS can't be the basis for determining this, instead we need clarification from the Chinese Government. This will simply remain unclear since the Chinese government has made no effort to clarify the meaning of the line. Instead we should simply state what relevant facts we can from reliable sources relating to UNCLOS (which the article already does a good job of) and then say that it isn't entirely clear whether the line is intended to stake a claim to the waters or the islands, to the extent that such a statement is supported in reliable sources. In either case we can't simply assert that since UNCLOS wouldn't allow it the line can't possibly be a claim to the waters. - Metal lunchbox (talk) 14:21, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Distinction without a difference. China is asserting a claim to resources located within the lines. If there isn't a natural landform in the area they're interested in, they're more than capable of creating one. It's at least as much a negotiation tactic as a legal claim and the question is not about how much being claimed—in fine, all of it—but how the negotiations shake out and whether there are any military flare ups before both sides have an accommodation they're comfortable with. — LlywelynII 13:04, 30 October 2016 (UTC)

Nine what?[edit]

The line, as seen on all versions of the map, is composed of nine dashes not 'dots', and online references to dashes exceed those to dots. So the only question is whether it should be 'nine-dashed line' or 'nine-dash line'. I feel the former sounds normal, while the latter has substantially more references, including most authoritative ones.

I therefore propose a change of name of this article to 'Nine-dash line' BagusBagus (talk) 14:05, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

I agree that the name should be changed to the 'nine-dash' line that is what the majority of sources and the authoritative ones say. Guest2625 (talk) 15:59, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

Indonesian Position[edit]

I'm interested to see the detail of Indonesia's position. References 5 & 22 do not click through and apparently refers to the Phillipines.Suastiastu (talk) 15:10, 20 March 2016 (UTC)

Indonesia say that the Natuna Islands are a 272-island archipelago of Indonesia, located in the Natuna Sea between Peninsular Malaysia to the west and Borneo to the east. But the Natuna Sea itself is a section of the South China Sea and is not an official international name. Indonesia do not want to be embroiled in rival claims with China so Indonesia say "Ours Natuna Islands are in the Natuna Sea."
Indonesia ratified UNCLOS III and strictly follow the law of the sea. Baselines of Indonesia are undisputed and follows the archipelagic baselines principle provided for under Article 46 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. It consists of straight lines linking 195 coordinate points located at the outer edge of the archipelago which serve as basepoints.[1]
On the oposit, China, a well know continental state, had wrongly declared it baseline as archipelagic baselines.
Indonesia was not embroiled in rival claims with China over the South China Sea and has instead seen itself as an "honest broker" in disputes between China and Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Brunei. Indonesia people do not like treachery. Fisheries minister Susi Pudjiastuti said Indonesia "feels sabotaged" in its efforts to maintain peace in the disputed South China Sea and may bring its latest maritime altercation with China to an international court.[2]Thanto19 (talk) 13:21, 29 May 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ Online map of Indonesia basepoints available at (United Nations)
  2. ^ Fergus Jensen and Bernadette Christina Munthe (21 March 2016). "Indonesia says it feels peace efforts on South China Sea 'sabotaged'". Jakarta. Reuters.

Comments on removing the map about competing claims[edit]

I removed the map about competing claims (South China Sea claims map.jpg). This map should not be used, as it displays glaring mistakes what different countries claim. Here are the most apparent:

a) China and Vietnam have delimited their border in the Gulf of Tonkin. The straight line going through the gulf is totally incorrect.

b) Vietnam has not published any detailed map or delimitation what it claims in the South China Sea, only saying it has sovereignty over Paracels and Spratlys. Almost entire Vietnamese border claim in the map is fictional.

c) The Philippines border in the western side is drawn so that Scarborough Shoal is inside the Philippine territory. In reality, the old line goes slightly on the eastern side of the shoal along the 118 degrees east longitude. The Philippines has since entirely redefined its maritime claims which are not shown on the map at all.

d) The dashes of the Chinese dashed line are removed and the line drawn as a complete line. This is fictional again as China never has published an intention to use the dashed line as a real border.

The VOA map is wrong but it is only a newspaper map. Your 'c)' is wrong too: The Philippines had claimed a 200 NM EEZ since 1978. Scarborough Shoal is 140 NM from Palawan and there is no other land mass 200 NM in the vicinity.
Another mistake of this map: e) It do not display Indonesia and its claim.
Here is a far better map
South China Sea claims and agreements.

Thanto19 (talk) 14:05, 29 May 2016 (UTC)

James Shoal is the southernmost limit ≠ Nine dash line is the maritime border[edit]

To User:Thanto19

The citation says that China teaches that James Shoal is the southern most limit. This does not equal ≠ Nine dash line is regarded as China's maritime border. The source does not provide any statement by China saying that the nine dash line is China's maritime border, it only says China regards James Shoal as its southernmost territory. The shoal can be claimed by China without saying that nine dash line is China's maritime border. Hawaii is claimed by USA without saying half the Pacific is within USA's maritime boundary. Britian claims the Falkland islands and that does not mean that Britain says its maritime border extends from the north Atlantic to the south Atlantic. You need an actual source where China clearly says that nine dash line is the maritime border. It is original research to say that James Shoal is the southernmost limit = maritime boundary is nine dash line.Rajmaan (talk) 16:38, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

STSC should explain to Thanto19 why he is conducting original research.

Also you (User:Thanto19) either misread or lied in your edit because nowhere in the article does it say and an arrow pointing to the dash. The actual article says that the arrow pointed towards the shoal, not the dash. For identification purposes, the editors used an arrow to point out James Shoal. You were either mistaken or trying to mislead people into suggesting that China uses the dash as its maritime limit.

The language you used in the edit was original research, because you implied by using While......, since , implying that although China does not claim the nine dash line as its maritime border that it de facto regards it as the maritime border because of the arrow- and you jumbled up the actual text with the claim that the arrow points towards the dash.Rajmaan (talk) 16:53, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

You removed 2 paragraphs. Concerning the second paragraph removing, I wonder if it's vandalism?
"since the 1940s, China has taught its 13 years old college students that their territory is large of 5500 km from Mohe County, on the Amur River to James Shoal, 80 km (50 mi) off the Malaysian coast. On page 4 of Chinese eighth grade geography textbooks is a map of China with the 9 dash line and a "pop-up box" with the text “The southernmost point of our country’s territory is Zengmu Ansha (James Shoal) in the Nansha Islands.”[1] As the map is small, the arrow is pointing to the dash close to James Shoal which can't be depicted. The name Zengmu Ansha is written above the dash.[1] Shan Zhiqiang, the executive chief editor of the Chinese National Geography magazine, wrote in 2013: "The nine-dashed [...] is now deeply engraved in the hearts and minds of the Chinese people."[1]
"[...] modern Chinese maps and atlases use a boundary symbol to depict the dashed line in the South China Sea. Indeed, the symbology on Chinese maps for land boundaries is the same as the symbology used for the dashes, and the text in the legend of such maps translates the boundary symbol as either “national boundary” or “international boundary” (国界, romanized as guojie). These maps also use another boundary symbol, which is translated as “undefined” national or international boundary (未定国界, weiding guojie), but this symbology is not used for the dashed line. The placement of the dashes within open ocean space would suggest a maritime boundary or limit."[2] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Thanto19 (talkcontribs)
If you present a "possible interpretation" as a fact, then it is original research. STSC (talk) 15:13, 25 May 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b c Zheng Wang. "The Nine-Dashed Line: 'Engraved in Our Hearts'". The Diplomat.
  2. ^ Baumert, Kevin; Melchior, Brian (5 December 2014). "Limits in the seas No. 143. China. Maritime claims in the South China sea" (PDF). Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

Important fact about the tribunal ruling missing from the article as it now stands[edit]

The international court ruled that when China acceded to UNCLOS, it gave up claims that were incompatible with UNCLOS principles. This doesn't affect claims of sovereignty over the rocks themselves, but it does very much affect wider follow-on claims, including the 9-dash line. To quote:

"Accordingly, the Tribunal concluded that, to the extent China had historic rights to resources in the waters of the South China Sea, such rights were extinguished to the extent they were incompatible with the exclusive economic zones provided for in the Convention. ... The Tribunal concluded that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line’."

AnonMoos (talk) 15:09, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

You don't cite the source of that quote, but it appears to be from a news story about a press release by the PCA, not a quote from the ruling itself (see e.g., [1],[2][3] -- I have not found the full text as released by the PCA). Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 11:11, 5 January 2020 (UTC)

Requested move 5 January 2020[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The result of the move request was: moved. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 21:53, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

Nine-Dash LineNine-dash line – Most source cited on this page write the page title in lowercase, and per WP:NCCAPS article title should be in sentence case. Hddty. (talk) 09:51, 5 January 2020 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.