China has, unilaterally claimed "water areas" or "territorial waters" of the South China Sea within its "Nine dash line". (Map courtesy GeoGarage).
In an excellent post that will create headaches for the US, Japanese and Australian navies, Chinese state media, Ecns.cn reports February 15, 2017 China may soon redraft its 1984 Maritime Traffic Safety Law to require:
“Foreign submersibles [ie. submarines and UUVs must] travel on the surface, display national flags and report to Chinese maritime management administrations when they pass China’s water areas”. Such waters are understood to include the South China Sea.
China’s Global Times adds:
“Foreign military ships that are approved to enter China's waters should apply for pilotage. Foreign ships that enter Chinese waters without approval will be fined 300,000-500,000 yuan ([US]$43,706-72,844) and those violating Chinese laws would be expelled, it said.”
China's $73,000 fines may be very reasonable compared to an SSK's or SSN's hourly running costs. Attention Commanders! Take wads of cash or don't leave home without your American Express cards.