News / Asia

International Court Asks Beijing to Defend S. China Sea Claims

Spratly Islands, China Sea Territorial Claims
Spratly Islands, China Sea Territorial Claims
Simone Orendain
An international court is giving Beijing more time to defend its territorial claims in the South China Sea.  But China has refused to participate in the arbitration case brought by the Philippines to clarify their territorial claims.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague says Beijing has until December 15th to submit arguments to  the arbitral panel handling the Philippines case against China.  But in a statement the court said it received a note from China stating “it does not accept the arbitration initiated by the Philippines.” 

The court also said China made clear the diplomatic response does not mean it is accepting nor participating in the proceedings.  

Philippine Foreign Affairs Spokesman Charles Jose says the department is imploring China to reconsider its decision not to take part.

“We continue to urge them to participate in the arbitration so that they will be able to clarify their claim as represented in the nine-dash line,” he said.

The Philippines calls China’s claims in the resource-rich South China Sea “excessive.”  Some maps demarcate Beijing’s claim to practically the entire sea with nine dashes in a tongue-shaped swath.  Manila questions Beijing’s claims to outcroppings that it says are well within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims in waters, which are rich with sea life, hold potentially vast hydrocarbon reserves and are a major trade route.
 
Oil rig issue

In recent weeks, Vietnamese and Chinese vessels have clashed in waters off the Paracel Islands where a Chinese oil rig is drilling.  The United States has said China has “undertaken destabilizing” actions in asserting its claims.

 
Philippines President Benigno Aquino gestures as he greets visiting U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker during her visit at the presidential palace in Manila, June 4, 2014.Philippines President Benigno Aquino gestures as he greets visiting U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker during her visit at the presidential palace in Manila, June 4, 2014.
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Philippines President Benigno Aquino gestures as he greets visiting U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker during her visit at the presidential palace in Manila, June 4, 2014.
Philippines President Benigno Aquino gestures as he greets visiting U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker during her visit at the presidential palace in Manila, June 4, 2014.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker traveling in the Philippines Wednesday said the Chinese oil rig being escorted by government vessels was “provocative” and could be a hindrance on business.  But she also said the “remarkable growth” of the Philippine economy and that of others around the region provides untapped potential for investment.  

In a keynote address to Philippine and American business leaders in Manila, Pritzker reiterated the U.S. “commitment [to the Asia-Pacific region] remains steadfast.”
 
“Our pledge is to partner with you and the many dynamic nations of the Asia-Pacific to build on your economic progress and to bring greater prosperity to millions across the region, in the United States and throughout the world,” she said.
 
The Philippines is the second stop in Pritzker’s three-state visit, which also includes Vietnam and Burma.
 
The U.S. is looking to strengthen ties with its allies in the region with a focus on security, economic and political fronts as China’s influence grows.
 
In late April, the U.S. and the Philippines signed an agreement to have more American troop rotations, joint military exercises and prepositioned American material in the country.  The Philippines sees this as a way to boost its minimum credible defense posture in the face of its ongoing dispute with China.

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Comments
     
by: So So from: US
June 07, 2014 10:11 AM
If I was China I would not want to have anything to do with these proceedings, I would not put myself under the control or authority of any court.
Why should I? I am big and strong enough to defend myself militarily and economically.

by: Chi Le from: USA
June 04, 2014 2:40 PM
Japan has vowed to challenge China to have a legal action against it, so if China really wanted peace and stability, it can challenge the legality against Japan to claim Senkakus/Diaoyu islands. And appropriately, it has to be a defendant for an international lawsuit of the Philippines. The lawful actions really bring the world peace. I don’t know why “China has refused to participate in the arbitration case brought by the Philippines to clarify their territorial claims.” What do China’s leaders want really? Clearly, China doesn't have enough reasons to witnesses in the case, so it arbitrarily exercises rules of law as a barbarian. The bloody government crackdown on protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square is an example of the savage action.

by: jonathan huang from: canada
June 04, 2014 11:32 AM
viet should stop harassing chinese oil rig which is only 17 miles from chinese island! China owns xisha archipelago, china conquered it, fair and square, its a status quo right? America keeps saying no change of status quo, right? China occupies these islands, so its status quo! and, the best way to solve the south china sea conflicts is that china to build two more nuclear aircraft carriers. if two is not enough then four! i am sure then viet and finos even america will sh ut up.
In Response

by: hai lua from: USA
June 04, 2014 9:06 PM
jonathan huang, I think you should go back to China. Did you do any thing for June 4? Do you know Tienanmen Square massacre? You should know since you are in Canada, not China now.
In Response

by: Seato
June 04, 2014 3:14 PM
@Jonathan: China's territorial claims are based on its size and strength,which are totally unacceptable in the modern world.The world's borders have very much been established and recognized after WW2 by the United Nations of which China is a member.China should not use force to change the status quo and redraw the world map the way it wants.China's claim over the South China Sea was based on a map by Taiwan in 1947,which was drawn unilaterally by Taiwan and not recognized by the UN and its members.Vietnam although small,but it was the first country that has established continuous administration over the Paracel and Spratly islands,so they are the official owners and these facts are proven in all the old European,Vietnamese and Chinese maps,and endorsed by the UN at the 1951 San Francisco Convention.This is the reason why China has refused to submit proofs to support their maritime claim because they haven't got any.Whether China attends the International Court of Arbitration or not,it does not matter much,as the court would still pass a verdict based on the informations and findings they've got.However,once the court decides that China's claim is illegal,then any unilateral actions by China in South China Sea would be seen as acts of aggression,and that would be the end of the Chinese Dream of world domination.Do you really think with a few Beijing maniacs at the helm of some crappy Aircraft Carriers,China can conquer the world? Day dreamers ! China can gain more by playing by the rules of laws.By waging wars China would lose everything

by: Tuan from: Vietnam
June 04, 2014 10:15 AM
Beijing just has more time to make up story as the world known. Vietnam has done nothing wrong to China. But China has sunk a Vietnamese wooden fishing boat. It is the act of evil. China is not strong enough yet but look at it. Beijing had crushed their own people with tanks and you can't imagine what they do to other nations.

In the last 20 years the West has helped China come out of poverty and1990 feed their starving population. Beijing would not appreciate those but they will remember what the West and the Japanese done to China during WWII. They will pass the revenge generation to generation. It's so stressful of being Chinese. The Chinese becomes selfish and greedy.
In Response

by: Hoang from: Vietnam
June 08, 2014 4:50 PM
I read Iris Chang's book: The Rape of Nanking and I cried.
In Response

by: Hoang from: Vietnam
June 08, 2014 1:36 PM
Only the Chinese can help China, nobody else can.
The West was not even able to help the Republic of Vietnam 40 years ago.
During the civil war between the communist and the nationalist in China, the US would not dare to touch China. China is big in term of population; it is a big black hole, if the US had involved itself into that civil war then the whole US economy would not have been enough to fill that black hole.
Even today, feeding over 1.2 billion mouths is not a simple matter. China's GDP per capita for 2013 was 6,700 US Dollar.
Vietnam has about 90 million people and the war had ended 40 years ago. The GDP per capita of Vietnam for 2013 was less than 2,000 US Dollar.
One might wonder about reasons why Vietnam has not been doing better than or equal to China economically.
In Response

by: Danny from: Canada
June 06, 2014 9:09 AM
Alight, you are a complete blank. You clearly don't know the thinking behind the CPC.

The reason China isn't going to the World Court is to solidify claims of the area, they don't want people still thinking that it's part of the Philippines, and they'll ignore any court pleas. It works for them, they don't need to go there.

How did I make them sound Nazi? Maybe it's your inability to read English, that's why. And finally, the Japanese didn't to anything at all in your country, Vietnam, no massacres, no shit.

I'm sorry but you need to learn your history (and English as well) "kiddo." Your inability to debate is clearly showing, and finally, are there museums in Vietnam showing what the Chinese did? Like maybe a oil rig museum? I'm believing you made things up, just to support your fallacy. Shame on you.
In Response

by: Alight from: Viet Nam
June 05, 2014 1:03 PM

@jonathan:
1. there is a BIG different between legal claim and illegal claim. The act of China right now is to be consider as invade (nope, i was wrong, it is invade, there is no need for considering).
2. Since when did Taiwan become a part of China. Taiwan has their own national flag, their own government and sure as hell not one of China county. It's more like China want Taiwan to be a part of it. (So they brainwash their people into thinking so)
@Danny:
1. You need to update your information and learn history kiddo. And do that by google it. Oh wait, Google ain't available in China nor CNN and other INTERNATIONAL media. Wow, China did a good job restrict their own people information and brainwashing them
2. Well, if China in 2nd place then why don't they take on the whole world ?. Why BEG VietNam not bring the oil rig issue to court ? ( Oh yes, they BEG Vietnam not to ). Oh, you don't know about it. I guess it is hard when your information is resticted.
3. And the way you say it, it make CHINA sound like NAZI. And we all know what happen to NAZI
4. Oh yes, i know what the Japanese DID. And i also know what the CHINESE DID. 1000 years of domination on our country. How could we forget that. Oh, and there even TONS of museum show ALL the EVIL the CHINESE did. BUT we don't mad because of what you DID, we mad because of what you are DOING. Now get that oil rig back to the shit hole it come from.
In Response

by: Danny from: Canada
June 04, 2014 6:52 PM
Are you crazy? How did the West help China at ALL in the 1990's, with economic sanctions and limited help given to China all the way even to today. Second of all, China has the world's second largest armed forces, "not strong enough yet" is a understatement only given by China haters such as you.

Second of all, have you seen what the Japanese did to the Chinese during World War II? If you did, you would hate them as much as China does now. You haven't felt the dark side of life.

In Response

by: jonathan huang from: canada
June 04, 2014 11:37 AM
look at the viet claim, the blue line, its not much smaller than chinas claim! when you say chinas claim is ridiculous, could we say the same thing that viets claim is ridiculous too? china is much older and was much bigger and stronger than viet. shouldnt chinas claim should be also much bigger than viets? dont forget democratic Taiwan also uses the nine dash line! thats also a proof that south china sea is chinese! because Taiwan is republic of China!

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