Ar­bi­tra­tion rul­ing will be ‘null and void’

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By CAIHONGin Tokyo cai­hong@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Chi­nese schol­ars said on Wed­nes­day that China is not act­ing against its obli­ga­tions as a sig­na­tory to the United Na­tions Con­ven­tion Law of Sea.

They said China has the right not to ac­cept or par­tic­i­pate in the Philip­pine’s South China Sea ar­bi­tra­tion case, and said the up­com­ing rul­ing of the in­ter­na­tional tri­bunal in The Hague will be null and void.

“Pro­ce­du­rally, China is not obliged to par­tic­i­pate in the in­ter­na­tional ar­bi­tra­tion in South China Sea,” said Zhang Xin­jun, a pro­fes­sor of law at Ts­inghua Uni­ver­sity.

Zhang added there were nu­mer­ous cases of coun­tries, in­clud­ing the United States and France, not par­tic­i­pat­ing in in­ter­na­tional ar­bi­tra­tion.

The law pro­fes­sor main­tained that China has in­sisted on set­tling the is­sue of mar­itime de­lim­i­ta­tion through bi­lat­eral di­a­logues and has never agreed to a set­tle­ment forced on it by a third party.

Wu Shi­cun, pres­i­dent of Na­tional In­sti­tute for South China Sea Stud­ies, said the court is not en­ti­tled to de­liver the rul­ing be­cause the Con­ven­tion does not ap­ply to the dis­putes be­tween China and the Philip­pines over sovereignty.

While the dec­la­ra­tion on op­tional ex­cep­tions China made in 2006 in ac­cor­dance with Ar­ti­cle 298 of UN­C­LOS ex­cludes dis­putes con­cern­ing mar­itime de­lim­i­ta­tion.

Along with sev­eral other Chi­nese schol­ars, Wu is in Tokyo this week for dis­cus­sions with Ja­panese ex­perts on mar­itime is­sues in East Asia.

Wu said the South China Sea is­sues are very com­pli­cated, rather than sim­ply a le­gal mat­ter, as they are re­lated to geopol­i­tics, China’s re­la­tions with its neigh­bors, the com­pe­ti­tion be­tween ma­jor pow­ers, bound­ary de­mar­ca­tion and mar­itime ju­ris­dic­tion.

“These are not is­sues that the in­ter­na­tional tri­bunal rul­ing can solve,” he said.

The ar­bi­tra­tion tri­bunal is ex­pected to make its rul­ing next month.

solve.” These are not is­sues that the in­ter­na­tional tri­bunal rul­ing can

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