Chinese legal experts refute Philippine claim in South China Sea

CCTV News

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A South China Sea arbitration case filed by the Philippines was at the top of the agenda at the annual meeting of the Chinese Society of International Law.

CCTV’s Tang Bo reports.

Chinese legal experts refute Philippine claim in South China Sea

Chinese legal experts refute Philippine claim in South China Sea

A South China Sea arbitration case filed by the Philippines was at the top of the agenda at the annual meeting of the Chinese Society of International Law.

About 300 Chinese legal experts gathered in Changchun, Jilin province to discuss the case. Their analysis was unanimous: China should abstain from participating in the case, because the arbitration panel has no jurisdiction over the dispute. They believed China has legitimate rights under international law to reject the arbitration.

“That is because the tribunal that arbitrates maritime disputes under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, has no jurisdiction over Manila’s claims,” China University of Political Science and Law Professor Ma Chenyuan said. “And the country’s unilateral initiation of the arbitration broke the agreement with us that the disputes should be resolved through bilateral negotiations.”

In October 2015, the Arbitral Tribunal at the Hague concluded that it has jurisdiction over the matters raised in seven of the Philippines’ claims.

China has issued a statement saying the award has no binding effect on the country. It will neither participate in, nor accept the arbitration.

“It is not the case that China does not want to resolve the issue. We want to resolve the territorial disputes through negotiations, as we have stated clearly in our agreements with the Philippines and the Declaration of Conduct with ASEAN,” Director General of the Foreign Ministry Dept. of Boundary and Ocean Affairs Ouyang Yujing said. “The unilateral arbitration case has been illegal in the first place.”

China has recently reached a consensus with Brunei, Cambodia, and Laos on the South China Sea issue. The four countries have agreed to oppose any attempt to unilaterally impose an agenda on other countries.

The experts at the meeting said that sets an example for the Philippines on how territorial and maritime disputes can be resolved through one-on-one consultation and negotiations, to maintain peace and stability in the region.

  • jg5821

    If Communist China wishes to settle the dispute through negotiations, then why is it threatening the smaller claimants with overwhelming lethal military force and forcibly enforcing its claims by violently attacking the fishermen of other states who are legitimately exercising their fishing rights over what has been throughout all of history a global commons? Communist China always talks out of both sides of its mouth. It wishes to settle its expansionist illegal territorial claims through overwhelming force, not through negotiation.

    • Testerty

      It is because these countries like Philippine and Vietnam have place armed military outpost all over South China Sea, and shooting unarmed civilian fishermen. As we all recall, Vietnam has twice attack Chinese ships in the last 20 years.

      • jg5821

        I am not going to argue with Communist China propaganda. The world knows who the aggressor is. I am not going to convince Communist China.

      • wfraser11

        Testery,,,Dear Troll. china has invaded the Paracels in 1974 and killed vietnamese sailors. It now has missiles and airfields on Woody.
        china has claimed it owns the south china sea. BS. And the international courts are about to prove that.

        • Testerty

          We all recall the Paracel War where Vietnamese navy ran away and gave the islands to China…

    • p j

      Greedy Philippines, respect your 3 treaties and get out of the South China Sea:

      From the United States of America:

      1946: The U.S. reminded the Philippines at its independence (1946) that the Spanish-American treaty of 1898 made it clear that the western limit of the Philippines islands did not include the Spratlys (South China Sea).

      From the Central Kingdom, foreign Minister Wang Yi:

      The fact is, according to the Treaty of Paris in 1898, the Treaty of Washington in 1900 and the Convention Between the United States and Great Britain of 1930 which defined the territory of the Philippines, the western boundary of the Philippines is delimited by 118 degrees east longitude. The Huangyan Island (Scarborough) and Nansha Islands (Spratly) are completely to the west of 118 degrees east longitude. They are not the Philippines’ territory.

      • jg5821

        Let’s assume you’re correct. It isn’t Philippine territory. Guess what? It isn’t Chinese territory either! It’s a global commons. And your self-serving arguments are limited to three treaties. There’s a lot more involved than that. Communist China, greedy land grabber, go back to Hainan!

        • p j

          Today will be history by tomorrow, you must respect your boundary defined in your 3 treaties, and don’t become a thief. China’s sovereignty includes the South China Sea since ancient time, the Central Kingdom was the first discovering the South China Sea, was the first exercising jurisdiction over the South China Sea islands, was the first creating map of South China Sea, and was the first creating map of the South China Sea with accurate locations and names.

      • frogmouth

        Just curious, how does a colonial era territorial limit affect a post WWII independent nation…? Especially when the rival claimant has no historical claim of their own?

        Aside from the Philippines other nations have claims in the Spratlys and China has no historical claim to the Spratlys of her own. In fact in 1933 the Chinese Gov’t didn’t even know where the Hell the Spratlys even were!

        https://www.rsis.edu.sg/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/CO14169.pdf

        China’s historical ‘research’ has been decades of garbage in garbage out!

        • p j

          @fougmouth, are you saying the Philippines doesn’t respect its 3 treaties anymore?

          Here’s are words from the Central Kingdom, foreign Minister Wang Yi:

          “After the Philippines gained independence, the domestic law of the Philippines, and the relevant treaties concluded by the Philippines all accepted the legal force of the three treaties mentioned above, and confirmed the scope of its territory to be limited by 118 degrees east longitude. Nevertheless, after the 1970s, the Philippines staged four military operations and illegally invaded and occupied eight islands and reefs of China’s Nansha Islands.”

  • britbob

    Effective sovereignty Argument: A case that supports this view of effective sovereignty is relevant is the Minquiers and Ecrehos Case, France/UK of 17th November 1953. In this case both the UK and France had requested the ICJ to determine which country held sovereignty over the uninhabited Islets and rocks in the Minquiers and Ecrehos. France had claimed sovereignty because of historic sovereignty going back to the Dutchy of Normandy in the 11th century while the UK claimed that Jersey had historically exercised administrational jurisdiction on them. The Court decided that in the absence of valid treaty provisions, they considered the argument that the British government has exercised effective control to be superior, so that sovereignty control over the Minquiers and Ecrehos belonged to the UK. (the UK had protested to the French government when a French national had intended to build a house on one of the islats and any deaths occurring on the islets were dealt with by inquests held on Jersey). ICJ Minquiers & Ecrehos Judgment, 17 Nov 1953, p28, paras 6 & 12.

    No delimitation between states with opposite or adjacent coasts may be affected unilaterally by one of those states. For some interesting judgments on territorial seas and to gain an understanding as to how the world court deals with such disputes:

    https://www.academia.edu/10574593/Falklands_Islands_Territorial_Waters

  • US really has no business in China’s backyard as China has no business in US backyard. US is simply trying to rule by military might. Militarizing the South and East China seas has been done by US for decades. It’s called world policing. Yankees go home is not a new phrase. It’s been said by its allies–Japan, South Korea and Philippines–whenever US military protection is not needed. US government should not be wasting its citizens tax dollars squandering on people-killing machines and weaponry.