Want China Times
By: Yen Tieh-lin
June 16 was the deadline for Beijing to offer a rebuttal a rebuttal to the Philippines’
explanations on disputes in the South China Sea to the UN Arbitral Tribunal, but as expected, the Chinese government did not issue any comment. The case now enters the debate stage.
In January 2013, the Philippines took a legal step to counter China’s claim that it owns virtually the entire South China Sea. Manila formally notified Beijing that it was seeking international arbitration to declare Chinese moves in the resource-rich waters “illegal and invalid,” according to the Article 287 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The tribunal has published four procedural commands since then but China has maintained its position not to accept or participate in the arbitration, without offering any rebuttal.
Yet China’s foreign ministry last December unveiled a statement to detail its position in the case. It emphasized that the disputes over the sovereignty of reefs and islands do not fall under the the convention and therefore the tribunal has no jurisdiction. It also said that in 2006, the Chinese government issued a statement saying that it would not accept an external mechanism for the resolution of disputes and its current military activities. [FULL STORY]