China on July 13 issued a white paper rejecting the international tribunal’s ruling on South China Sea. Stating its people had 2,000 years of history in the South China Sea, China said that it would set up an air defence zone, if its claims were ignored.
Reacting that it violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights by jeopardising its ships, fishing and oil projects in the region, China attacked the jurists in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. It said a Japanese jurist Shunji Yanai in particular was responsible for manipulating the judgement against Beijing, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin told a crowded press conference.
Targeting Yanai, Liu said he is a former Japanese diplomat and assisted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He also claimed the international tribunal’s judgement/ruling cannot be implemented in toto. Yanai manipulated the tribunal against Beijing by appointing four judges from different European nations, he added.
Following development of global maritime law, a delimitation dispute also arose between China and the Phillipines regarding parts of the South China Sea, it added. Several rounds of discussions were held to resolve maritime disputes between the two countries, as per the white paper.
The white paper attacked the Philippines saying Manila turned a blind eye to bilateral consensus, has repeatedly taken moves complicating relevant disputes, gradually intensified them between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea.
It may be noted China boycotted the hearings on July 12. The US, which China accused of fuelling tensions and militarising the region, said the ruling should be treated as final. The international tribunal has no power of enforcement, but a victory here for the Philippines could encourage Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Hours after the ruling, Chinese ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai said the ruling will “intensify conflict. Finally, it will undermine the authority and effectiveness of international law”. Tiankai also told an international forum in the US that Beijing was committed to talks with other parties in disputes over the vital trade route.
Meanwhile, for India, which was recently kneed by China at the Nuclear Suppliers Group meeting, it was a sweet verdict.