left corner left corner
China Daily Website  

Reasonable to reject arbitration

Updated: 2016-05-17 07:10
(China Daily)

Reasonable to reject arbitration

A formation of the Nanhai Fleet of China's Navy finished a three-day patrol of the Nansha islands in the South China Sea. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague is expected to rule on the unilateral arbitration case submitted by the Philippines on its territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea in a few weeks.

Despite Beijing's consistent stance that the South China Sea islands and reefs mentioned in the arbitration case do not fall into the Philippines' territory and it is fully within its rights not to participate in the case, Beijing should brace itself for fending off international pressure following the ruling, since it is widely believed that the ruling may be unfavorable to China.

However, the numerous restrictions the court faces also mean China should not be over-pessimistic about its ruling. For example, the court enjoys no jurisdiction over sovereignty disputes or maritime demarcation, and China declared in 2006 that it excluded compulsory arbitration under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Such factors should be taken into consideration before the court rushes to a make a ruling on the Philippine's case.

In the run-up to the ruling, the Unites States, however, has gone all out to pressure China into accepting whatever ruling the court delivers.

A series of White House and Pentagon officials, including US President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Commander of the US Pacific Command Harry Harris, have successively urged China to comply with the international order that is based on "laws and rules", although the US itself is one of the few countries which has not ratified the UN sea convention.

China should rebuff such "international pressure" and make use of available international occasions to clarify its stance and prove the "inefficacy" of the forced arbitration case.

Unofficial channels, such as academic exchanges, should also be used to make China's reasonable voice heard to the outside world.

--Beijing Times

  • Group a building block for Africa

    An unusually heavy downpour hit Durban for two days before the BRICS summit's debut on African soil, but interest for a better platform for emerging markets were still sparked at the summit.