South China Sea arbitral tribunal null and void: Chinese ambassador

Source: XinhuaEditor: Yao Jianing
2016-07-15 21:37

JOHANNESBURG, July 15 (Xinhua) -- The award on the South China Sea Arbitration is certainly null and void, said Chinese Ambassador to South Africa Tian Xuejun in an interview published in The Star newspaper on Friday.

The South China Sea arbitration unilaterally initiated by the former government of the Republic of Philippines is not a pure legal case, but a result of political manipulation, said Tian in the interview with Independent Media's group foreign editor Shannon Ebrahim.

The Arbitral Tribunal, consisting of five people, is not an international court. It does not belong to the International Court of Justice under the framework of the United Nations, Tian said.

"The Arbitral Tribunal is not representative, authoritative and credible and it can not represent International Law and its award is certainly null and void," Tian added.

The former government of the Philippines and the Arbitral Tribunal, by pushing forward the arbitration proceedings, have not only infringed on China's sovereignty as well as maritime rights and interests, but also undermined the integrity and authority of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the ambassador noted.

The unilateral initiation of arbitration by the Philippines aims to deny China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea, Tian said.

"The unilateral initiation of arbitration by the Philippines runs counter to UNCLOS and its restrictive provisions concerning the application of arbitral procedures, and runs against the general practice that arbitration shall be premised on state consent," Tian added.

"The establishment of the Arbitral Tribunal is based on the Philippines' illegal actions and unlawful submissions and has no legitimacy. The Arbitral Tribunal has no jurisdiction over the case and its award is clearly out of the Arbitral Tribunal's acts of self-expansion of power and ultra vires, and has no legal effect, Tian said.

Ebrahim questioned that how will the court's decision affect the dynamics in the South China Sea in the near future. Tian said, China is committed to maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea.

"China also 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," the ambassador added.

The arbitration is a political scheme under the cloak of law, through the proxy's acts, people can easily find the trace of certain big power who staged and pushed forward the arbitration, Tian said.

"Now the arbitration farce is over, we hope that the Philippine side will work with us to properly manage differences and bring our bilateral relations back to the track of healthy development at an early date," Tian said.

"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," the ambassador said.

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