If other nations follow China's example of limiting access to the maritime commons, the results could have devastating economic impact
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Ensuring the security of the maritime commons against piracy is another motivating factor of such endeavors.26 China, for instance, has shown some signs of beneficent intentions by increasing its role in international counter-piracy missions. In 2008, the PLA Navy (PLAN) sent warships to join U.S. naval operators patrolling the Somali Coast. More recently, Beijing has expressed interest in leading some of the planning of such missions." Unfortunately, these positive steps are tempered by concerning Chinese actions with respect to the seas. Specifically, China's assertion of exclusionary rights in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ)-in opposition to UNCLOS treaty provisions and its territorial claims in the South China Sea-heighten suspicion of Chinese intentions in the region. If other states follow suit to prevent safe, unrestricted passage of sea vessels through their EEZ (200 miles from the coastline into a bordering body of water), the openness of the commons is directly challenged and could have devastating economic results.