Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

The farce of shooting oneself in the foot

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-07-15 07:52

The farce of shooting oneself in the foot
Missile frigate Yuncheng launches an anti-ship missile during a military exercise in the water area near South China's Hainan Island and Xisha islands, July 8, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

The ruling of the arbitral tribunal in the Philippines' case against China in the South China Sea dispute on Tuesday ignores facts, violates international law and international relations norms, and infringes on China's sovereignty and maritime rights.

The Chinese government and people do not recognize or accept the ruling. Chinese people have lived and worked in the South China Sea for generations, and became owners of the islands in that sea a long time ago. And China has indisputable sovereignty over these islands and their adjacent waters.

Yet some countries and powers have invaded these islands and the sea in the past 100 years. Despite this, China has never swayed from its resolve to defend its sovereignty and maritime rights, for which generations of Chinese people have made great sacrifices.

China has appreciated the virtue of "the strong should not bully the weak, and the rich should not insult the poor" since ancient times. It does not envy or eye any piece of land that does not belong to it. But it will not compromise on its own territory and rights either. In fact, it will take all necessary measures to protect its sovereignty and maritime rights.

The Chinese people love peace, and have made unremitting efforts to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea. China has always adhered to the principle that disputes should be settled peacefully through negotiation, and be controlled by abiding by certain rules and mechanisms. It has never hindered freedom of navigation or over-flight in the South China Sea, and seeks mutually beneficial situations through cooperation.

Thanks to the joint efforts of relevant parities, the region had bid adieu to the Cold War mentality, experienced peace and stability and set out on a path of prosperity and development. The freedom of navigation and over-flight in the South China Sea is fully guaranteed.

But because of the maneuverings and instigations of non-regional powers, the administration of former Philippine president Benigno Aquino III used public tools to make unlawful gains. And the arbitral tribunal, on the pretext of following so-called rules and promoting the rule of law, passed a ruling that has no legal standing. There is an attempt to deny China's sovereignty and maritime rights in the South China Sea by distortedly applying the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

China will never accept such political provocations, not only to defend its sovereignty and maritime rights, but also to defend the dignity and status of international law.

Many countries, organizations and personalities support China's stance. To fulfill its own selfish desires, the Benigno Aquino III administration violated the rule of law and China's maritime rights. And since the arbitral tribunal has violated the law and acted as a marionette of external powers, the case will be treated as a farce by history.

Chinese people's resolve to defend their country's sovereignty and maritime rights is unflinching. And the farce to challenge China's baseline is like shooting oneself in the foot.

The article first appeared in People's Daily.

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