File com­plaint on Xi’s threat of war with UN, says judge

New Straits Times - - World -


APHILIPPINE Supreme Court judge called on Satur­day for Manila to file an in­ter­na­tional ar­bi­tra­tion case and a com­plaint with the United Na­tions over what the coun­try’s leader said was a threat of war made by Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping.

Supreme Court As­so­ciate Jus­tice An­to­nio Car­pio, a staunch critic of Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s busi­ness-fo­cused rap­proche­ment with China, said the use or threat of force to set­tle dis­putes be­tween states was out­lawed un­der the UN Char­ter and if the pres­i­dent did noth­ing to protest that, he was “sell­ing us out”.

Duterte on Fri­day said his Chi­nese coun­ter­part had warned him there would be war if Manila tried to en­force an ar­bi­tra­tion rul­ing and drill for oil in a dis­puted part of the South China Sea.

He was re­fer­ring to the rul­ing last year by an ar­bi­tral tri­bunal in The Hague grant­ing the Philip­pines sov­er­eign rights to ac­cess off­shore oil and gas fields in its Exclusive Eco­nomic Zone (EEZ), in­clud­ing the Reed Bank, in the South China Sea.

Car­pio, who was part of the Philip­pine le­gal team that made the case in The Hague, said Xi’s threat was a “gross vi­o­la­tion” of the United Na­tions Char­ter, the United Na­tions Con­ven­tion on the Law of the Sea (Un­c­los), and the Treaty of Amity and Co­op­er­a­tion in Southeast Asia to which China and the Philip­pines were par­ties.

“The Philip­pines’ re­course is to bring China’s threat of war to another Un­c­los ar­bi­tral tri­bunal,” he said.

“The pres­i­dent can­not sim­ply do noth­ing, or worse ac­qui­esce to China’s ac­tion, for in­ac­tion is the op­po­site of pro­tect­ing

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