An aerial photo taken on Sept. 25, 2015 from a seaplane of Hainan Maritime Safety Administration shows the Yacheng 13-1 drilling rig during a patrol in South China Sea. (Xinhua/Zhao Yingquan)
An arbitral tribunal's decision to allow a case unilaterally initiated by the Philippines is also highly questionable, according to a group of leading experts on international law who concluded a seminar here.
"Because there are so many possible choices regarding how to settle the claims, it will be difficult for a court or an arbitral tribunal to make a proper decision," said Sienho Yee, chief expert at the Institute of Boundary and Ocean Studies of Wuhan University, who presented a conclusion of some 30 experts during a press briefing.
"We also heard the positions by the experts that the tribunal seemed to be manipulating words in its decision (on jurisdiction)," Yee said, noting that the tribunal did not respect China's explicit right to exclude territorial and delimitation disputes written in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Pemmaraju Sreenivasa Rao, former chairman of the UN International Law Commission, said the tribunal has put itself in a very difficult position.
"The tribunal said it would not try to settle sovereignty disputes, but only to determine geological features. However, the Philippines' claims will eventually lead to the question of who owns it, and the tribunal has no jurisdiction over this matter," said Rao, who participated in the third UN Conference on the Law of the Sea from 1973 to 1982 that led to the adoption of the UNCLOS.
Rao's opinion was echoed by Abdul G. Koroma, a former judge of the International Court of Justice who also took part in the historic conference.
"It is stated in the convention that a tribunal will not be entitled, will not have the right to pass judgment on a territorial and boundary dispute, because it has not been equipped; it has not been given competence to do so," Koroma said. "You cannot use the jurisdiction of one to determine the other."
"It's like someone who has a brain tumor and went to the doctor, and only asked for flu medication. We all know that it is not going to cure his headache," Michael Sheng-ti Gau, a professor of public international law at the Law of the Sea Institute at Taiwan's Ocean University, commented on the Philippines' claims in the case.
The claims of the Philippines only scratch the surface, but do not cover the core dispute, which is a sovereignty issue. As the court cannot rule on something that is not presented in the claims, the result of the arbitration is unlikely to have any effect on the current situation, Gau said.
The experts from Asia, Africa, the United States and Europe exchanged views on the case at the seminar, co-organized by Leiden University's Grotius Center for International Legal Studies and Wuhan University's Institute of Boundary and Ocean Studies.
PARIS, June 27 (Xinhua) -- In an op-ed recently carried by the French daily Le Figaro, Chinese Ambassador to France Zhai Jun has reiterated the country's stance that China does not accept the arbitration on the South China Sea issue.
The sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea and their adjacent waters belongs to China, Zhai noted in the signed article published on June 24. Full story
THE HAGUE, June 27 (Xinhua) -- A group of experts on international law voiced their doubts and concerns on Sunday over the South China Sea arbitration, warning the proceedings of the case are questionable.
Some 30 experts from Asia, Africa, the United States and Europe exchanged views at a seminar co-organized by Leiden University's Grotius Center for International Legal Studies and Wuhan University's Institute for Boundary and Ocean Studies. Full story
BARCELONA, June 26 (Xinhua) -- "Bilateral agreement is the best solution" for resolving the dispute in the South China Sea, Spanish political scientist and PhD in Intercultural Studies Marc Selgas Cors said in a recent interview with Xinhua.
It is expected that the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague will soon announce the decision on the arbitration case brought by the Philippines. Full story
RIO DE JANEIRO, June 26 (Xinhua) -- China's sovereignty over the South China Sea islands has already been established and there are no legal reasons for the Philippines'claim for the sovereignty over the Huangyan Island, a Brazilian expert has said.
The islands belong to China and not to the Philippines, and that is a matter already settled decades ago, Carlos Tavares, an author of 10 books on China and a longtime expert of China-Brazil relations, told Xinhua. Full story
BUENOS AIRES, June 23 (Xinhua) -- The disputes between China and the Philippines over the South China Sea should be settled through bilateral negotiation, Argentine expert Paola de Simone said Thursday.
Simone, a lawyer and political analyst from the University of Buenos Aires, told Xinhua that Manila's arbitration request over the issue "violated the Philippines' commitment to the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC)." That is, territorial and jurisdictional disputes should solved through friendly consultations and negotiations by sovereign states directly concerned. Full story
MANILA, June 9 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine government has been behind the intensifying tensions in the South China Sea, a former diplomat of the country told Xinhua on Wednesday.
Alberto Encomienda, former secretary-general of Maritime and Ocean Affairs Center of the Philippine Foreign Affairs Department, said: "China has been for the negotiations all along, but from the beginning we are not." Full story
The differences between China and the U.S. over the South China Sea issue have become a matter of concern and even anxiety. But some of the perceptions in the U.S. and elsewhere about China’s policy and intentions in the area are misplaced. A pressing task is to understand the facts and China’s intentions correctly so as to avoid real danger and consequences as a result of misinterpretation and miscalculation.Full Story
BEIJING, June 8 (Xinhua) -- China on Wednesday again urged the Philippines to stop its arbitral proceedings and return to the right track of settling relevant disputes in the South China Sea through bilateral negotiation with China.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the comment at a routine press briefing.Full Story