China is continuing with its plan announced earlier this year to create two Chinese-controlled international maritime courts that would be used to provide China’s interpretation of maritime law. The continuation of the plan is the latest signal that China has not given up on pushing forward its maritime claims in the South China Sea, which have been decisively ruled as unlawful by the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague in a high profile case last year.
On Oct. 25, 2017 during the “2017 Shanghai International Shipping Law Forum” held in Shanghai, Chinese legal scholars and officials affirmed prominently a previously reported plan of creating two international maritime arbitration courts to help project China’s own vision and views on international maritime law.
The recent statements from Chinese officials and legal scholars echo an article from June 2017, near the anniversary of the 2016 South China Sea Arbitration case, published on China’s One Belt One Road Initiative official website. Originally published on China’s state-run Legal Daily, the article claimed that Chinese legal scholars are working on the creation of an “International Maritime Judicial Center” together with an “International Maritime Arbitration Center,” with the goal of making China “the center of international maritime arbitration and jurisprudence.”