Vi­o­la­tion of in­ter­na­tional laws

China Daily (Canada) - - COMMENT -

The Philip­pines should fully rec­og­nize how sen­si­tive and com­pli­cated the South China Sea is­sue is, and re­turn to the right track of re­solv­ing the dis­pute through con­sul­ta­tions and ne­go­ti­a­tions. The Philip­pines has at­tempted to uni­lat­er­ally force ar­bi­tra­tion on its South China Sea dis­pute with China, but China stands on a solid le­gal ground in re­fus­ing to ac­cept or par­tic­i­pate in the ar­bi­tra­tion, says a Xin­hua com­men­tary.

The Philip­pines’ fil­ing for ar­bi­tra­tion is an abuse of law pro­ce­dures. As is clearly stip­u­lated by the United Na­tions Con­ven­tion on the Law of the Sea, the pre­con­di­tion for the ap­pli­ca­tion of ar­bi­tra­tion pro­ce­dures is the prin­ci­ple of con­sent, a ba­sic prin­ci­ple of in­ter­na­tional law.

In 2006, China sub­mit­ted a writ­ten state­ment to the United Na­tions Sec­re­tariat, clearly declar­ing that, on is­sues of ter­ri­to­rial sovereignty, ma­rine de­mar­ca­tion and mil­i­tary ac­tiv­i­ties, it re­fuses to ac­cept any ju­ris­dic­tion of in­ter­na­tional jus­tice or ar­bi­tra­tion.

No mat­ter what kind of pack­age it has made, the ar­bi­tra­tion raised by the Philip­pines is in essence a dis­pute con­cern­ing the sovereignty over the is­lands and reefs and de­mar­ca­tion over cer­tain wa­ters in the South China Sea.

There­fore, by ig­nor­ing China’s 2006 dec­la­ra­tion and tak­ing the South China Sea dis­putes re­lated to the sovereignty of is­lands and reefs and mar­itime de­mar­ca­tion to in­ter­na­tional ar­bi­tra­tion, the Philip­pines has made the ar­bi­tra­tion pro­ce­dure il­le­gal from the start.

Also, in 2002, the na­tions in­volved, in­clud­ing the Philip­pines, pledged to solve their South China Sea dis­putes through ne­go­ti­a­tions in the Dec­la­ra­tion on the Code of Con­duct on the South China Sea, and that dec­la­ra­tion ex­cludes the ap­pli­ca­tion of any other pro­ce­dures, in­clud­ing ar­bi­tra­tion.

So clearly any ar­bi­tra­tion by a third party goes against in­ter­na­tional laws and the DOC.

Both the UN Char­ter and UNCLOS en­cour­age na­tions to first solve their dis­putes through ne­go­ti­a­tions.

And with the larger pic­ture of China-Philip­pines re­la­tions and in­ter­ests of re­gional peace and sta­bil­ity in mind, China has con­sis­tently in­sisted on solv­ing the is­sues of ter­ri­to­rial sovereignty and mar­itime de­mar­ca­tion through bi­lat­eral ne­go­ti­a­tions.

How­ever, the Philip­pines has turned a blind eye to China’s good­will and re­straint, and is reach­ing for a yard af­ter tak­ing an inch.

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