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A farcical arbitration by dubious arbitrators

By Makhdoom Babar (Mail Online)    13:09, July 13, 2016

A so-called arbitration court is today due to deliver its one sided and extremely biased decision over Chinas legal and lawful claims over the ownership of South China Sea maritime territories. The entire global community in general and legal as well as media communities in particular very clearly know that the verdict of the above mentioned sham body, identified as Permanent Court of Arbitration is one hundred percent bound deliver a verdict , completely contrary to the claims of China. This is perhaps the only decision of such a court in the recent history that the whole global community already knows as to what the decision is going to be.

Before commenting on the most likely upcoming decision of this outrageous arbitration body, one needs to have a look on the basics of South China Sea dispute.

China believes that the islands, banks, and shoals as well as surrounding waters of the Xisha, Nansha, Zongsha, and Dongsha archipelagos, all the way down to the Zengmu Ansha reefas its southernmost tip, constitute an indisputable and indivisible part of Chinas historical territory. Together these territories account for hundreds of islands, islets, sandbanks, rocks, and shoals throughout the South China Sea region.

Chinas claim is rooted in the historical facts that the territorial features of the South China Sea constitute territory over which China has throughout held sovereign jurisdiction that is, ancestral properties passed down from previous generations. Chinese activities in the South China Sea date back over 2000 years ago with China being the first country to discover, name, explore and exploit the resources of the South China Sea islands and the first to continuously exercise sovereign powers over them. Authentic maps of the South China Sea islands were published throughout the Ming and Qing dynasties, including in navigational charts drawn up by Chinas thirteenth-century explorer and Navy General Admiral Zheng He.

Chinese possession of South China Sea islands has been acknowledged by a number of international sources throughout modern history. These include listings in, for example, British, (East and West-) German, French, and Soviet atlases of the area published in the 1950s and 1960s. Moreover, the Chinese governments Position Paper highlights that territorial claims by other South China Sea claimants (notably the Philippines) did not encompass the marine features within the dashed-line area until the 1970s. This crystal clearly reflects that other countries claims are relatively recent, politically motivated, and further incentivized by resource extraction.

It remains a fact that in 1939, Japan occupied parts of the archipelago in an attempt to control Southeast Asia and prepare for an invasion of Australia. Upon Japans defeat in 1945, it was stripped of the area it had occupied in the South China Sea. Although post-war ownership of the islands remains disputed, both Mainland China and Taiwan have adopted the position that rather than creating a void, the areas have been restored to Chinese ownership.

Under these circumstances, one must refer to the Cairo Declaration of 1943 and Potsdam Declaration of 1945. Together these declarations emphasize that areas once held by Japan in the South China Sea would no longer be part of that countrys post-war sovereign territory, and that territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China.

However, when the Obama Administration at Washington adopted a China Containment Policy under the garb of Americas Rebalancing of Asia, the other claimants of the territories of South China were immensely pushed and motivated by the US government and the US media to escalate the issue and to go hostile against china with main player of the game being Philippines. As per the US desires, the escalated dispute was taken to such horizons where it was projected that it needed to have an arbitration and for seeking desired results the matter was pushed to the said arbitration court, with clear dominance and influence of US and Japan over it.

The Daily Mail firmly believes that Beijing’s demands in the South China Sea issue is based on four aspects: First, China seeks to maintain and develop its marine rights and territorial sovereignty; second, China seeks to promote its marine economy; third, the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” initiative require economic communication and cooperation among countries around the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean, and marine interconnection among the countries requires to be extended gradually and fourthly , the South China Sea plays an important role in China’s national security, which must be guaranteed strategically.

The Daily Mail believes that compulsory arbitration is not applicable to the South China Sea dispute. First, according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), compulsory procedures are applicable only to the interpretation or application of the UNCLOS. Therefore, territorial sovereignty is beyond the scope of compulsory procedures. Second, when a dispute concerns maritime delimitation, historic bays or titles, or military and law enforcement activities, the state party to the UNCLOS enjoys the right to reject any arbitration.

The Daily Mail is of the firm opinion that since the South China Sea issue has already transformed from a territorial sovereignty dispute into a geopolitical focus in the Asia-Pacific region, due to intervention by players that are not even party to the matter, the issue has surpassed a dispute on sovereignty, rights and interests, and has become a conflict between two historical powers. On one hand, the U.S.’s marine and aerial advantages in the western Pacific Ocean since the end of the World War II have been challenged.

As an independent International media organization, The Daily Mail already rejects the upcoming decision of the sham arbitration court even before the announcement of the decision and terms in advance it as a farcical decision by dubious arbitrators.

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

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