South China Sea: India, Japan Indicate Dispute Should Be Resolved Under UN Law

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Looking beyond Asia, India and Japan have also raised the stakes by including Africa in their development strategy, implicitly setting up a rival to China’s One Belt, One Road.

New Delhi: Even as they cement their relationship with a much-delayed nuclear deal and building a parallel to China’s ‘OBOR’, India and Japan asserted on Friday that the South China Sea dispute should be resolved under the auspices of United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) – a stand which will certainly elicit a sharp response from Beijing.

The comment on the South China Sea was included in the joint statement issued after the annual summit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his host, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on Friday, where they conducted a review of their “Special Strategic and Global Partnership”.

“Regarding the South China Sea, the two Prime Ministers stressed the importance of resolving the disputes by peaceful means, in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law including the UNCLOS,” said the document.

The difference in this year’s statement was not just the number of times UNCLOS was mentioned – four, compared to once last year. The contrast is also that in this year’s joint statement, UNCLOS is explicitly mentioned in the context of resolving the South China Sea dispute. While it does not include a direct mention of the order of the Arbitral Tribunal, which adjudicated in favour of Philippines against China, the meaning is clear. Even if officials publicly point out that Arbitral Tribunal is not mentioned in the text, any reference to UNCLOS ‘principles’ is a negation of China’s position on the South China Sea, which is predicated on historical claims.

South China Sea: India, Japan Indicate Dispute Should Be Resolved Under UN Law

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail