And Then There Were None

Asia-Pacific Daily App, 12 July, 2016 | 作者: Liu Chang | 时间: 2016-07-18 | 责编: Wang Jiapei
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There may be more and more discouraging sentiment spread among people who have unrealistic concern about the arbitration case of South China Sea between China and the Philippines.


Even though threatened by militarized United States, China will be steadfast in its position that it will not accept or recognize the arbitration, which has been reiterated on many occasions.


A simple but insightful fact will be well known sooner or later after all. The Philippines will hardly restart negotiation with China as President Duterte expected a couple of days earlier except shelving the whole arbitration case they unilaterally initiated.


In the long run, almost every aspect of South China Sea dispute will not be positively solved by the award, especially the stable and peaceful development around South China Sea will be increasingly damaged and much harder to maintain. Obviously, no one can get benefit from that situation.


And now, without any hesitation to say, what we are witnessing is that the winner of this case is none.


Many foreign scholars told me that the international image of China will be heavily hurt by this case. However, it is not true.


China just refuses the arbitration case which is illegal from the very beginning. It is self-evident right for every member of the international community to liberate itself from unfair judgment by others.


More than 60 countries and international organizations, as well as over 130 foreign political parties and groups, have voiced their support for China’s principled position, which means they prefer to peaceful negotiation in resolving sea disputes, rather than illegal international arbitration.


Actually, China always insists on complying with the International Law and explaining its argument and evidence rationally. China is still one of the strongest defender of International Law and current international order. On the contrary, at least two phenomena should be truly worried about.


On the one hand, this case has been provided with an extremely bad example for latecomers. It encourages them to hold their illegal interests by violating the International Law and hints those who want to strictly obey the International Law have to think twice. The other thing is much more serious.


People live in East Asia will suffer more pointless and ridiculous military activities by the United States which even don’t sign the UNCLOS and a majority of universal recognized international treaties until now. Unfortunately, the spring will come from nowhere, and the winter is coming definitely.


Could we do something to change this situation? How can we find exit to make justice and stability prevail upon the region again? There is a commonplace but useful talk.


Relevant countries should enhance mutual trust and expand common understanding through strengthening their cooperation in practical ways such as the Belt and Road Initiative, AIIB, Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Mechanism and so on.


Friendly consultations and negotiations on an equal footing should be highly evaluated by all parties. Military intervention from outsiders should be paid close attention. China is fully ready to facilitate this gradual and proper policy to settle the South China Sea dispute consistently.


At the end of the famous novel written by Agatha Christie, no one can survive from Soldier Island. However, we still have opportunity to avoid that horrified conclusion and find solution to get happy ending.




Liu Chang is a research assistant at China Institute of International Studies.



Source: Asia-Pacific Daily App, 12 July, 2016.