Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Thoughts on the Hague Tribunal’s South China Sea Ruling

Sidney Blumenthal, "Thoughts on the Hague Tribunal’s South China Sea Ruling," Foreign Policy (July 12) [original article contains links]

uncaptioned image from article
The Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled Tuesday morning that China has no legal basis to claim historic rights to the waters within its so-called “nine-dash line.” Furthermore, the court stated that China’s island construction and coast guard activities have violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone. Here are a few quick thoughts and comments on the ruling:
Let’s get this out of the way. China will decry the fact that the United States is cheering on a decision of a tribunal convened under the auspices of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, a treaty that Washington has not ratified. ...
So yes, the United States is in a somewhat awkward position of cheering for a favorable U.N. ruling, even as it does not accede to the U.N. tribunal that made the ruling. While China continues to delegitimize the tribunal’s findings, the United States should engage in a serious public diplomacy campaign highlighting its own reverence for law compared with China’s general disdain for it. ...

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