Chinese daily: Hague case over disputed sea 'unlawful'

Editorial calls arbitration in Hague ‘nothing more than a piece of waste paper’ ahead of ruling due Tuesday

Chinese daily: Hague case over disputed sea 'unlawful'

World Bulletin / News Desk

An editorial in an official Chinese newspaper has called an arbitration over the disputed South China Sea “unlawful” and “nothing more than a piece of waste paper”.

The People’s Daily published the editorial ahead of the Permanent Court of Arbitrations in The Hague ruling Tuesday on a case filed against China by the Philippines.

“The Chinese people, together with relevant countries, stand resolutely to safeguard the dignity of the rule of international law, as well as regional peace and stability,” it said, underlining that Manila’s unilateral action cannot “negate China's legitimate rights and interests”.

The editorial described islands in the resource-rich sea as Chinese territory since “ancient” times, which were administered by Chinese governments throughout history -- with China’s “sovereignty and related interests” over them protected by a United Nations charter and other recent international laws.

It accused the Philippines and the Hague tribunal -- which it claimed exceeded and abused its power -- of being “the real violators of international law”.

The editorial also described the arbitration case as “a trap” set by the United States and its ally country, with the court serving as an “accomplice”.

“Such an illegal verdict is nothing more than a piece of waste paper,” it said.

China has insisted that the court lacks jurisdiction over the case as it involves sovereignty and maritime delimitation -- issues which Beijing says are not subject to third-party arbitration.

China claims around 90 percent of the sea -- which is believed to be sitting atop huge oil and gas deposits -- but Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also consider some of the region’s waters, islands and reefs to be their territory.

China and the U.S. have been accusing one another of leading to militarization of the sea, a critical asset for global shipping and fishing that sees more than $5 trillion in maritime trade every year.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Temmuz 2016, 11:17