South China Sea: In defeat for Beijing, Hague to hear Philippine UNCLOS claim○Sydney Morning Herald (2015.10.30)

South China Sea: In defeat for Beijing, Hague to hear Philippine UNCLOS claimSydney Morning Herald (2015.10.30)
Amsterdam: An arbitration court in the Netherlands ruled on Thursday that it has jurisdiction to hear some territorial claims the Philippines has filed against China over disputed areas in the South China Sea.

In a legal defeat for China, the Hague-based tribunal rejected Beijing's claim that the disputes were about its territorial sovereignty and said additional hearings would be held to decide the merits of the Philippines' arguments.

China has boycotted the proceedings and rejects the court's authority in the case.  Beijing claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea, dismissing claims to parts of it from Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei.

The tribunal found it has authority to hear seven of Manila's submissions under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and China's decision not to participate did "not deprive the tribunal of jurisdiction".

The United States, a treaty ally of the Philippines, this week challenged Beijing's pursuit of territorial claims by sailing close to artificial islands China has constructed in the South China Sea.  It welcomed the decision, according to a senior US defence official.

"This demonstrates the relevance of international law to the territorial conflicts in the South China Sea," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official added: "It demonstrates that sovereign claims are not necessarily indisputable and it shows that judging issues like this on the basis of international law and international practice are a viable way of, at a minimum, managing territorial conflicts if not resolving them."

The Chinese and US navies held high-level talks on Thursday after a US warship challenged China's territorial assertions in the South China Sea, and a US official said both sides agreed to maintain dialogue and follow protocols to avoid clashes.

After the talks between US chief of naval operations Admiral John Richardson and his Chinese counterpart, Admiral Wu Shengli, scheduled port visits by US and Chinese ships and planned visits to China by senior US Navy officers remained on track, the official said.

State Department spokesman John Kirby told a regular news briefing that in accordance with the terms of UNCLOS, the decision of the tribunal would be legally binding on both the Philippines and China.

John McCain, chairman of the US Senate's armed services committee, hailed the Hague ruling.

"Today's ruling is an important step forward in upholding international law against China's attempts to assert vast and, in my view, questionable claims in the South China Sea," he said.

Senator McCain said Washington should continue to support partner countries and allies such as the Philippines in the face of China's assertiveness, including through routine freedom-of-navigation patrols like the one that angered Beijing this week.

Bonnie Glaser, a South China Sea expert at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, called the outcome "a major blow for China given that the opinion explicitly rejects China's arguments that ... the Philippines has not done enough to negotiate the issues with China".

The court said it could hear the arguments, including one contending that several South China Sea reefs and shoals were not important enough to base territorial claims on.  China has been building artificial islands on reefs in the sea and claiming control over the waters within a 12-mile (19-kilometre) radius.

On seven other submissions, including that China had violated the Philippines' sovereign right to exploit its own territorial waters, the court said it would reserve judgment about jurisdiction until it had decided the merits of the case.

No date has been set for the next hearings, which will also be closed to the public.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration was established in the Netherlands in 1899 to encourage peaceful resolution of disputes between states, organisations and private parties.  China and the Philippines are among its 117 member countries.

5 則留言:

  1. 若目前是小英執政,以台灣尷尬的國際地位來說,該如何面對這塊領域的國際爭議?

    俺想,小英或許也提不出比馬政府更好的回應來面對海牙的仲裁 "不承認,不接受"。而最糟糕的是,海牙根本不會聽,也不會把台灣政府當做一個個體來提問與蒐證,因為國際法庭所針對的單位是 以聯合國會員國為準的 ”主權邦國”,而台灣並不在名列表名單上面。

    1. 九段線,入憲了沒?



    2. 鄭資約,前往南海的軍艦,所謂中業號、太平號,是美艦移交的。


    3. 菲律賓背後是美國,所以這應該是美國授意的,雖然它根本沒簽約。不過有趣的點是如果連最大島都被認為不是島嶼,那南海大概就沒有島嶼了,管你中國怎麼填都沒用。岩礁與島嶼最大的差別在於岩礁不能主張兩百浬經濟海域,但對於既有的12海浬管轄不受影響。這樣搞有個好處大家不能再隨便以經濟海域為藉口亂畫範圍,只能各自龜縮到占領的12海浬內玩。


    4. 有一點算是很有趣的觀察:為何山姆大帝對K佔駐太平島凡70年,一句話也沒吭氣?當然這部落格的常客都知道,太平島與台澎都是K受盟軍委託佔領進而管理的,已經70年了。這樣說來,山姆大帝對太平島的態度就是有如對台澎的態度,一樣的。至於釣魚台,那不在第一號命令之內,所以是另外一回事。