Washington DC [USA], July 24 (ANI): China's fearless disregard for international water laws has finally severed its ties with neighbouring countries in the South China Sea.
Recently, the Philippines publicly called on China to comply with the 2016 arbitral ruling which had ruled that China has no "historic rights over the waters of the South China Sea".
"Compliance in good faith with the award would be consistent with the obligations of the Philippines and China under international law, including UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) to which both parties are signatories," Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. was quoted as saying in a statement, according to a report in the GMA News.
Similarly, Indonesia has finally decided to conduct exercises in the vicinity of the Riau Islands, the Foreign Brief reported.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo rejected China's claims of having "historical rights" in the South China Sea. He also urged Beijing to respect the 2016 ruling by the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands ruled that China has no "historic rights" over the waters of the South China Sea.
In its ruling, it also said that China has interfered with traditional Philippine fishing rights at Scarborough Shoal, even as Beijing claimed historic rights to the waters under the nine-dash line, which the tribunal said is contrary to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that determines which countries can claim economic exploitation rights, based on geographic features.
According to an article in The Diplomat by Rahul Mishra, a senior lecturer at the Asia-Europe Institute, University of Malaya, Pompeo's statement supporting the Philippines and highlighting the salience of international laws surprises all as the US itself is not a signatory to the 1982 UNCLOS agreement.
Mishra said that Pompeo and Locsin's remarks are the same as that of the "emerging collective voice of key Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries".
"With the renewed US support to the Philippines on the South China Sea dispute, it is clear that China's South China Sea gambit is likely to face more challenges in times to come. Its persistently aggressive policy is unlikely to yield any tactical or strategic outcomes. However, Beijing would still try to play its age-old 'divide and rule' policy with the South-East Asian countries, offering sweet deals to some while fiercely countering those who stand up to it," Mishra said.
"How far China succeeds in such attempts would be largely shaped by the quality and extent of reassurance the United States and its friends and allies provide to the region in keeping the flock together," he added. (ANI)