Pro-Western Tribunal Rules Against China
by Stephen Lendman
The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) resolves disputes among and between states, international organizations and other entities.
Cases relate to “territorial and maritime boundaries, international humanitarian law, and treaty interpretation, as well as commercial and investment disputes between private parties and states, including disputes arising under bilateral and multilateral investment treaties.”
PCA is pro-Western, an administrative organization, not a conventional court. Judges or arbitrators hearing cases are officially called Members of the Court.
Its Philippines v. China ruling didn’t surprise, heavy US pressure likely exerted, Manila’s case instigated by America.
It was argued by Washington-based law firm Foley Hoag with close Obama administration ties, Filipino lawyers involved little more than potted plants - the case, in fact USA v. China, Manila its convenient proxy.
It’s part of Obama’s provocative Asia pivot, increased area military footprint, heading toward direct confrontation - the madness of possible war with China, perhaps likely if war goddess Clinton becomes America’s 45th president.
She’s openly hostile to Beijing, earlier accusing its government of “trying to hack into everything that doesn’t move in America.”
Challenging its regional influence and South China Sea policy, she said “(w)e have to be fully vigilant that (its) military is growing very quickly, and they are establishing military installations that threaten countries we have treaties with, like the Philippines, because they are building on contested property.”
China’s military operates in its own region, for defense, not offense like America’s, wanting dominion over a part of the world not its own, provocatively challenging Beijing’s legal rights.
PCA ruled “(t)here was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line,’ ” referring to territory Beijing claims as its own.
The five-judge panel accused China of “interfering with Philippine fishing and petroleum exploration; constructing artificial islands and failing to prevent Chinese fishermen from fishing in the zone,” among other issues addressed - one-sidedly supporting America’s agenda, not ruling impartially.
Chinese authorities stress PCA has no legal jurisdiction to adjudicate what’s disputed. It “neither accepts nor recognizes” its ruling.
Its Foreign Ministry called it “null and void (with) no binding force.” A government statement said in part:
“Since its founding on 1 October 1949, the People' s Republic of China has been firm in upholding China' s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea.”
“(I)n accordance with national law and international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, China has territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea…”
“China stands ready to continue to resolve the relevant disputes peacefully through negotiation and consultation with the states directly concerned on the basis of respecting historical facts and in accordance with international law.”
“Pending final settlement, China is also ready to make every effort with the states directly concerned to enter into provisional arrangements of a practical nature, including joint development in relevant maritime areas, in order to achieve win-win results and jointly maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.”
“China respects and upholds the freedom of navigation and overflight enjoyed by all states under international law in the South China Sea, and stays ready to work with other coastal states and the international community to ensure the safety of and the unimpeded access to the international shipping lanes in the South China Sea.”
China’s Defense Ministry said it’ll “firmly safeguard national sovereignty, security and maritime interests and rights, firmly uphold regional peace and stability, and deal with all kinds of threats and challenges.”
America’s increasing East Asia military footprint along with provocatively deploying combat troops near Russia’s border threatens world peace - unthinkable WW III perhaps just a matter of time.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.