Xinhua Commentary: The Philippines must stop abusing arbitration and destabilizing South China Sea-Xinhua

Xinhua Commentary: The Philippines must stop abusing arbitration and destabilizing South China Sea

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-07-11 15:50:16

BEIJING, July 11 (Xinhua) -- For some time, the current Philippine Marcos government has been actively engaging in reckless provocations in the South China Sea, while misleading the international community by exaggerating a void and null "arbitration award" eight years ago to conceal the country's infringements on China's territorial sovereignty and maritime interests.

The Philippines' unilateral initiation of arbitration in 2013 contravened international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) dispute settlement mechanism. The arbitral tribunal in the South China Sea arbitration established at the Philippines' unilateral request had, ab initio, no jurisdiction, and the award rendered by it is illegal and void and has no binding force.

As a matter of fact, the Philippine side is the violator of international law. Starting in the 1970s, the Philippines invaded and illegally occupied by force some islands and reefs of China's Nansha Qundao and raised illegal territorial claims. This is the core of the relevant disputes between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea.

The South China Sea arbitration case was a pure political drama staged in the name of the law with the United States pulling strings behind the scenes. The Philippines' initiation of arbitration aimed not to settle its disputes with China, but to deny China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea.

Despite extensive hype by the Philippines on the international arena, the arbitral award lacks legitimacy under international law. Clearly, the "arbitration" in the South China Sea represents another instance of distorting international law and undermining norms of international relations. This politically manipulated "award" is riddled with errors and biases, severely trampling on the international rule of law.

Abuse of international judicial procedures is one of the despicable measures adopted by the Philippines at the instigation of the United States. The current Philippine administration has maneuvered through diplomatic, legislative, propaganda and other means to materialize the illegal award and whitewash its own provocations and infringements. Yet its tricks and actions have only disrupted peace and stability in the South China Sea and made the issue more complicated.

It is reported that the Philippines may launch a second arbitration regarding the marine environment. However, it is the Philippines that has been a major destroyer of the marine environment in the South China Sea, said a survey report released by China on Monday. The Philippine military vessel that was illegally grounded in 1999 at Ren'ai Jiao in China's Nansha Qundao has seriously damaged the coral reef ecosystem in the area, according to the report.

To manage the disputes between the two countries, maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, and uphold the authority and integrity of international law, the Philippines must stop playing the award card and refrain from abusing arbitration.

The disputes in the South China Sea must be resolved through dialogue and consultation. This not only complies with Oriental cultural traditions, but it is also a principle that China has been upholding when it comes to resolving international disputes.

The China-Philippines relations are at a crossroads. The only correct and viable option for the Philippines is to respect historical facts, uphold international law, and return to the path of negotiation and consultation.

The Philippines must proceed cautiously and choose the right path instead of continuing in the wrong direction. There is no benefit in playing the victim or launching disinformation campaigns. Any new arbitration trick or provocation will only bring disgrace upon the initiator, and a pawn of hegemonism and imperialism is destined to be discarded.