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Statement of China's Foreign Ministry on award of South China Sea arbitration initiated by Philippines

Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China on the Award of 12 July 2016 of the Arbitral Tribunal in the South China Sea Arbitration Established at the Request of the Republic of the Philippines

Smearing China not help resolve South China Sea disputes

As the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague will announce the so-called "award" on July 12, a new smear campaign against China has emerged, this time by veteran Washington attorney Paul Reichler.

Though Reichler as an international lawyer enjoys a reputation for representing small countries against big powers, he has no right to depict China as an "outlaw state" for no reason.

In an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, the Philippines' chief lawyer said China risks being seen as an "outlaw state" unless it respects the outcome.

The Philippines, a U.S. ally, is challenging the validity of the China's nine-dash line referring to the demarcation line of the South China Sea, that came almost half a century ahead of the UNCLOS. The so-called South China Sea tensions have been mounting since Obama-Hillary Administration took America's policy of containment of China to a strategy of “Pivot to Asia”, or more specifically “US rebalancing to Asia”. US defence secretary, Leon Panetta, announced that the Pentagon would shift 60 percent of US naval assets to the Indo-Pacific region by 2020, in 2012. US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel declared that the US Air Force would also “allocate 60 percent of its overseas-based forces to the Asia Pacific—including tactical aircraft and bombers from the continental United States.” In the same year the Philippines arbitration case against China was brought by the previous Philippine government of Benigno Aquino III, and Paul Reichler, a Washington lawyer, was appointed the Philippines' chief counsel representing the Philippines.

Paul Reichler is an international lawyer but not usually known as "for representing small countries against big powers." He plays a role in the escalation of Washington’s aggressive moves against China. He, like former US State secretary Hillary Clinton (a lawyer-politician), acts as a master dissembling international law. The Philippines case is a move of Washington playing chess game of "US rebalancing to Asia”.

Joseph Santolan pointed out in the last year: "Manila’s legal case, which aims to invalidate the entirety of China’s nine-dash line territorial claim to the South China Sea, is part of Washington’s campaign of increasing military and political pressure against Beijing. Over the past year, Washington has not only brought military tensions in the sea to a fever pitch with its deliberate provocations against China, it has moved to undermine China’s territorial claims as well.
In December 2014, the US State Department issued a 26-page memorandum studying China’s maritime claim in the South China Sea, which concluded that, unless China revised its claim, it was 'not in accordance with the law of the sea'." -- Joseph Santolan "US lawyers argue Manila’s case against China in The Hague", 9 July, 2015.

Paul Reichler told the Associated Press late Thursday (June 30, 2016) he was optimistic the court would rule in his client's favor. He barely spoke out the pursuer of Washington brought Philippines case. He wish the South China Sea could be the next hotspots in the world. "If the nine-dash line is unlawful as applied by China against the Philippines, then logically it is equally unlawful as applied by China" against other states, such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, Reichler said. He said if China persisted in trying to enforce illegal claims, it would impact relations with its neighbors.

It's obviously that Washington and some international figures such as American lawyer Reichler, Japanese lawyer-diplomat Judge Yanai, attempt to rewrite China's history and direct an arbitration based on an abuse of international law and the international arbitration mechanism, in order to serve US pivot to Asia. Washington set on fire anywhere in Asia, and its minions fan the flames to burn China with neighbors. But, in fact, as of today, the record shows that China has successfully concluded territorial disputes with 12 of its 14 neighbors. This is quite an accomplishment. What's more, China has no aspirations to colonize or conquer foreign lands. Nor does it uphold any religious or ideological motives to influence other people or to take over foreign lands. Solving remaining territorial disputes continues to be pursued peacefully. China is firmly moving forward. The US pivot to Asia will fail.

President Xi Jinping warned foreign countries against "harming" China's sovereignty on last Friday, July 1, 2016. "No foreign country should expect us to swallow the bitter pill of harm to our national sovereignty, security or development interests," said Xi.

Let me take some space looking at concepts of "American leadership" in the world motivating US pivot to Asia, the one slogan Washington leaders flaunt and American people commonly acclaim.

About two year ago, President Obama delivered remarks on American leadership at the United States Military Academy Commencement Ceremony. Shortly after beginning part, he showed off four years more counterterrorism efforts and economy out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, then asserted, "by most measures, America has rarely been stronger relative to the rest of the world," "From Europe to Asia, we are the hub of alliances unrivaled in the history of nations." "So the United States is the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed, and will likely be true for the century to come,” he said. ("Can the US really lead the world for another 100 years?" Quora posted. Answers disagree. Jerry Mc Kenna, Amateur astronomer, said "The US doesn't lead the world and is not even close. It can be seen a leader of the West, if you define the West as the countries that were in the Western part of Europe after WWII, plus the US and Canada. The US imposed its order after WWII, on a virtually bankrupt Europe, it didn't have a choice since it was the lead power among the victors (Britain was broke). That order has been accepted because the nations under it have done well in the last 60 years. One can add Japan and Korea to the mix for similar reasons. The US needed Japan and helped rebuild Japan, the US had troops in South Korea to keep the truce. In the rest of the world, the results of US power aren't as clearly positive and US leadership is barely accepted and barely tolerated (just look at Iraq)."

Irene Colthurst, Observant of the drama: "'Another'? Wait. The Second World War ended in 1945, and was immediately followed by the Cold War. Technically, the US did not achieve unipolar superpower status until late 1991, when the USSR collapsed. So, at most, the US 'led' the world through the 1990s.")

“America must always lead on the world stage," Obama declared. "If we don’t, no one else will.”

He spent his much time describing his vision for how the U.S. and its military should lead in the years to come. First of all, "The United States will use military force, unilaterally if necessary, when our core interests demand it -- when our people are threatened, when our livelihoods are at stake, when the security of our allies is in danger." "On the other hand, when issues of global concern do not pose a direct threat to the United States, when such issues are at stake -- when crises arise that stir our conscience or push the world in a more dangerous direction but do not directly threaten us -- then the threshold for military action must be higher. In such circumstances, we should not go it alone. Instead, we must mobilize allies and partners to take collective action." This president prescription well interprets, to take the South China Sea as an example, what the US has done about the sea areas in dispute (stir American conscience?), such leadership, in fact, has been pushing the area issues between China and some countries directly related in the progress of bilateral dialogue and negotiation towards dangerous.

Obama's principles of American leadership and everything the US has done are full of contradiction. The point of American leadership is American strength. "In each case, we built coalitions to respond a specific challenge," do more to strengthen the institutions such as NATO, working with NATO allies to meet new missions, both within Europe (reassurance of Eastern allies,) and beyond Europe's borders (counterterrorism,) but reduce the U.N. to a platform to keep the peace in states torn apart by conflict. (The U.S. has, since the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, done about everything it could to undermine the U.N. Obama's opinion of the U.N. is close to US withdrawal from the United Nations.)

"In the Asia Pacific, we’re supporting Southeast Asian nations as they negotiate a code of conduct with China on maritime disputes in the South China Sea. And we’re working to resolve these disputes through international law." By the South China Sea Obama talked about American example leadership. "American influence is always stronger when we lead by example," "We can’t try to resolve problems in the South China Sea when we have refused to make sure that the Law of the Sea Convention is ratified by our United States Senate (As of today nothing has been done about it by the United Congress. We may predict that will never happen), despite the fact that our top military leaders say the treaty advances our national security." (By Obama's example leadership, it is logically that the US has done about the South China could be branded as an "outlaw state" by international community.)

Now Xi gave the official response to Obama's US leadership that the world order should be decided not by one country or a few, but by broad international agreement. "It's for the people of all countries to decide through consultations what international order and global governance systems can benefit the world and people of all nations," he says.]

The Declaration of the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China on the Promotion of International Law

[Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on June 27, 2016]: The evolution of international order and changes to the system of global governance have made the pursuit of international rule of law, fairness and justice a trend of the world. As two permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and Russia have common responsibility in upholding and promoting international law. The declaration on the promotion of international law issued by the two countries demonstrates their solemn commitment to international law, their actions in carrying forward and developing international law with creative ideas and their shared concerns in peacefully resolving disputes. It is of important and far-reaching significance.

On peacefully resolving disputes, the declaration stressed that "all dispute settlement means and mechanisms are based on consent and used in good faith and in the spirit of cooperation", "and their purposes shall not be undermined by abusive practices". On UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the declaration underlined that the integrity of the legal regime established by the Convention must not be compromised. All this help clarify and get down to the bottom of the issue. It will enable the international community to see through the "arbitration" show directed and acted by some country.

"South China Sea tribunal" has no jurisdiction

In 2013, the Philippines unilaterally initiated an arbitration case against China at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague regarding its disputes with Beijing over the South China Sea.
Xu Hong, director-general of the Department of Treaty and Law at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a news conference in Beijing that the tribunal on the South China Sea has no jurisdiction, as the issue concerns territorial sovereignty and maritime delimitation.

"The tribunal has no jurisdiction over the arbitration, so any decision made by such an institution is not legally binding, and there is no such thing as recognition or implementation of its ruling," Xu said.


(China among other countries made Declarations and statements on UNCLOS, here are some quotations.

[Australia]: Declaration of 21 March 2002 under articles 287 and 298 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
The Government of Australia declares, under paragraph 1 of article 287 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea done at Montego Bay on the tenth day of December one thousand nine hundred and eighty-two that it chooses the following means for the settlement of disputes concerning the interpretation or application of the Convention, without specifying that one has precedence over the other:
(a) The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea established in accordance with Annex VI of the Convention; and
(b) The International Court of Justice.
The Government of Australia further declares, under paragraph 1 (a) of article 298 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea done at Montego Bay on the tenth day of December one thousand nine hundred and eighty-two, that it does not accept any of the procedures provided for in section 2 of Part XV ( including the procedures referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this declaration) with respect of disputes concerning the interpretation or application of articles 15, 74 and 83 relating to sea boundary delimitations as well as those involving historic bays or titles.
These declarations by the Government of Australia are effective immediately.

[Spain]: Declaration made after ratification (19 July 2002)
Declarations under articles 287 and 298:
Pursuant to article 287, paragraph 1, the Government of Spain declares that it chooses the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the International Court of Justice as means for the settlement of disputes concerning the interpretation or application of the Convention.
The Government of Spain declares, pursuant to the provisions of article 298, para. 1(a) of the Convention, that it does not accept the procedures provided for in part XV, section 2, with respect to the settlement of disputes concerning the interpretation or application of articles 15, 74 and 83 relating to sea boundary delimitations, or those involving historic bays or titles.

[United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland]: 7 April 2003
Declaration pursuant to article 298, paragraph 1 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea:
".....the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland does not accept any of the procedures provided for in section 2 of Part XV of the Convention with respect to the categories of disputes referred to in paragraph 1(b) and (c) of article 298."

[China]: Declaration made after ratification (25 August 2006)
Declaration under article 298:
The Government of the People's Republic of China does not accept any of the procedures provided for in Section 2 of Part XV of the Convention with respect to all the categories of disputes referred to in paragraph 1 (a) (b) and (c) of Article 298 of the Convention.)

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