RI must take stand on S. China Sea claims


Amid relentless diplomatic efforts, many seem unaware that the South China Sea dispute has entered a new phase as the Philippines, one of the claimants of the maritime territory, is seeking a legal settlement of China’s territorial claims at the Court of Arbitration in The Hague. 

Can the legal approach resolve the decades-long dispute and provide justice for the claimants, and can the verdict reduce tension and create security and stability in the region?

In its diplomatic note filed with the court in January 2013, the Philippines proposed five points against China’s claims in the South China Sea, which are: First, China is not entitled to exercise “historic rights” over the region; second, China’s nine-dash line has no international legal basis; third, China’s claims are related to geographical bodies that under international law do not confer Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) status; fourth, China has violated the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the Philippines; and finally, China has violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) by damaging the regional marine environment.

China has refused to participate in the legal mechanism and named president of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, Thomas Mensah, as its representative, but its absence does not hinder the arbitration tribunal, which is expected to be completed in mid-2016.

– See more at: http://m.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/10/10/ri-must-take-stand-s-china-sea-claims.html#sthash.RXoe00DS.dpuf