Arbitration ruling will be ‘null and void’
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