World / Asia-Pacific

Lies of Philippines' Aquino administration on South China Sea

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-07-12 14:50
BEIJING -- The administration of former Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has lied in its unilaterally-initiated arbitration case against China over the South China Sea since 2013.

China has reiterated that it would neither accept nor participate in the arbitration initiated by the Philippines as it necessarily is linked to territorial and maritime disputes, which fall outside the jurisdiction of the arbitration tribunal.

First, the former Philippine government lied by saying that it had no intention of applying for a ruling on sovereignty in the disputed waters in the South China Sea with China, or on maritime delimitation.

China has excluded maritime delimitation from compulsory arbitration in a declaration in 2006 citing Article 298 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

In an attempt to circumvent the jurisdiction issue, the Philippines had concealed the inevitable link between its claims and the issue of territorial sovereignty, and requested the tribunal rule on the limits of China's maritime entitlements and the lawfulness of China's maritime activities in the South China Sea, but not decide on the territorial or sovereignty disputes.

The truth is, however, there is an inextricable link between the Philippines' claims and the issue of territorial sovereignty and maritime delimitation.

Without first having determined China's territorial sovereignty over the relevant maritime features in the South China Sea, it would not be possible for the arbitral tribunal to determine what maritime rights China enjoys and the extent to which China may claim maritime rights.

Moreover, it would be impossible, without first ascertaining the sovereignty over the features in question, to determine the entitlements with respect to the maritime zones, and to further decide upon the legality of China's activities at issue.

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