In their April 20 op-ed, “Navigating the East China Sea ,” Joseph Nye and Kevin Rudd proposed that the intensifying claims of China and Japan to barren islets in the East China Sea be resolved by an agreement that “may be unlikely in the current climate” or by another that would let the conflict “quietly simmer for another half-century.” But they ignored the existing comprehensive, multilateral code governing ocean territorial disputes embodied in the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea , which established the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to adjudicate disputes of the very kind the authors discussed.

The op-ed also ignored decades of precedent of the International Court of Justice and ad hoc international tribunals adjudicating maritime territorial disputes. A rules-based solution by an objective international tribunal would offer a peaceful, fair, expeditious and permanent outcome.

Ed Martin, New York