South China Sea: Care must be taken in using law-abusing arbitration

Think twice before taking law-abusing arbitration as South China Sea solution

South China Sea
South China Sea

Launching a legal action is not always the best way to solve a dispute, and it is even more unrealistic that a proceeding illegally initiated and wantonly pursued would lead to a just solution.

South China Sea
South China Sea
The so-called South China Sea arbitration, which is expected to produce an “award” next week, is just the latest case in which this is true.

It may be that well-meaning spectators optimistically believe the award will help ease tensions in the South China Sea. However, for the parties who are trying all means to dramatize the sovereign dispute, their ulterior purpose is not to seek a real settlement, but to use the ruling to force China into giving in to their own order.

Such intrigue will never succeed, as it is neither legally plausible nor practically possible.

The arbitration, unilaterally initiated by the Philippines in breach of its commitments, UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) stipulations and China’s legitimate right under the UNCLOS to independently choose dispute settlement mechanisms and procedures, is in itself a violation of international law.

The arbitral tribunal set up thereof, by forcefully handling the case and willfully expanding its jurisdiction, is also flawed, making the award of the tribunal untenable and void.
Based on these facts, China has made it clear on multiple occasions that it will neither accept nor recognize such an arbitration and its award whatever it might be.

With constant good will and faithful practice of international law, China has adequate cause to dismiss the meaningless political provocation that will not do any good to any nations concerned.
However, that does not mean China will sit idle in handling the disputes.

It consistently adheres to the position of resolving the disputes in a peaceful manner through negotiations and consultations, managing the disputes by establishing rules and mechanisms, seeking win-win outcomes and securing peace and stability in the South China Sea.

China believes negotiation and consultation represent the only right way forward to resolve this issue. This position will not be changed with a unconvincing arbitration award. Nor will the country be intimidated into compromise.

Even upon the background that the South China Sea disputes have been complicated by regional and outside factors, China is still confident and sincere about seeking a fair and realistic solution that will bring long-term peace and stability to the waters.

All parties that truthfully want to do good on the South China Sea issue need to carefully think whether provocative confrontation or peaceful dialogue is the real constructive way forward and which country really displays patience and good faith for a final solution of common interests. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/

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