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Stay sober-minded in face of manipulated ruling

Updated: 2016-07-14 07:40
(China Daily)

Stay sober-minded in face of manipulated ruling

Missile frigate Yuncheng launches an anti-ship missile during a military exercise in the water area near South China's Hainan Island and Xisha islands, July 8, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

The arbitral tribunal's award on Tuesday, which tries to deny China's historic claims in the South China Sea and wipe out its rights to resources there, marked an end to the farce disguised as law.

The ruling, based on lies, distorted facts and unwarranted procedures, reflects blatant bias and the perverting of the principle of procedural justice.

It proves that the tribunal has degenerated into a political tool and puppet of external forces.

Four of the five tribunal judges were picked by Japanese diplomat-turned-judge Shunji Yanai in 2014 when he was president of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. The Philippines exercised its right to select the other. And "the entire proceedings" were manipulated from behind the scenes.

So the ruling was a travesty of international justice, reminding the Chinese public of the harsh reality that efforts to contain its rise, whether by political, military or judicial means, have never ceased, and will continue.

Despicable and loathsome as it is, the ruling serves as a wake-up call of how important it is for China to remain the master of its own destiny.

Any attempt to act upon the ruling under the pretext it has binding force will be tantamount to directly challenging China's sovereignty. It will escalate tensions and risk leading to direct conflicts.

China has so far exercised the utmost restraint, and is still offering the Philippines a chance to restart negotiations and meet Beijing halfway to solve their disputes. This is the only way to rebuild trust and ensure peace and stability in the region.

Hopefully the show of goodwill will be reciprocated.

China has made remarkable achievements over the past three decades. If the trajectory of its development is uninterrupted, China could overtake the United States as the world's largest economy within a decade according to some overseas analysts.

That explains why Washington has been so uneasy, and eager to contain China's rise. All the fanfare stirred up in the South China Sea, in essence, is part of that strategy.

This makes it all the more important for China to remain sober-minded when handling challenges that result from the arbitral award, and not be distracted from its priority of economic development.

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