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Unlawful arbitration cannot negate China's sovereignty over South China Sea: People’s Daily

(People's Daily Online)    08:28, July 12, 2016

The unlawful arbitration concerning the South China Sea unilaterally filed by the Philippines cannot negate China's legitimate rights and interests in the region, the People's Daily said in an editorial that referred to the arbitration as “nothing more than a piece of paper” on Monday.

“The Chinese people, together with relevant countries, stand resolutely to safeguard the dignity of the rule of international law, as well as regional peace and stability,” the editorial, written under the pen name “Guo Jiping,” added.

Titled “Who is the real saboteur of international law?” the editorial outlined the history and legal basis involved in the issue.

The islands in the South China Sea have been part of China since ancient times, said the editorial, illustrating that successive Chinese governments have administered the islands and their adjacent waters by setting administrative divisions, exercising offshore patrols and making maritime rescues.

As part of the post-war order, China's sovereignty and related interests over the islands in the South China Sea are protected by UN Charter and other international laws, it added.

The editorial also stated that the arbitration case is actually a trap set by the US and the Philippines in which the arbitral tribunal has played the role of an accomplice.

Given these circumstances, China's non-participation and non-acceptance of the arbitration is lawfully reasonable, while the Philippines and the arbitral tribunal, which overreached and abused its power, are the real violators of international law.

With the abominable precedence set by the Philippines, other countries may also make territory and maritime delimitation an issue that can be covered by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the paper stated.

If this comes to pass, then the optional exceptions declarations made by more than 30 UNCLOS member countries will lose all meaning, the article added, explaining that this will not only damage the maritime order established by the UNCLOS, but also pose a severe threat to current international order. Therefore, in addition to defending its own sovereignty, China's efforts to fight the abuse of international law also has the goal of protecting global maritime order and long-term stability, the editorial said.

Though the Philippines’ violation of international law has been obvious, the US, who has always labeled itself as “the world’s policeman,” has turned a blind eye. The double standards adopted by the US have exposed its hypocrisy and deep-rooted “imperialistic mentality.” That is to say, the US will only show strong support for international laws that are to its own benefit. Otherwise, no matter how legitimate a law may be, the US will pay it no attention, the paper said.

“Such an illegal verdict is nothing more than a piece of waste paper,” the editorial concluded.

Guo Jiping is a well-known pen name used for People’s Daily editorials meant to outline China’s stance and viewpoints on major international issues.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Editor:Wu Chengliang,Bianji)

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