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World China wants a seat in an international tribunal for maritime disputes. The U.S. is against it

03:05  04 august  2020
03:05  04 august  2020 Source:   msn.com

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China wants a seat in an international tribunal for maritime disputes . The U . S . is against it . Published Mon, Aug 3 20207:38 PM EDT. The U . S . opposed the idea and suggested that China shouldn't be given a seat because it disregards international maritime law in the South China Sea.

An international panel in The Hague delivered a sweeping rebuke of China ’ s behavior, deciding that its expansive claim to sovereignty over the waters had no legal basis. In its most significant finding, the tribunal rejected China ’ s argument that it enjoys historic rights over most of the South China Sea.

  • China has nominated a candidate for a judge's position in the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, a court that hears and settles maritime dispute.
  • The U.S. opposed the idea and suggested that China shouldn't be given a seat because it disregards international maritime law in the South China Sea.
  • "Electing a PRC official to this body is like hiring an arsonist to help run the Fire Department," David Stilwell, U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, said last month.
graffiti on the side of a building: The emblem of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) at the court's entrance in Hamburg, Germany. © Provided by CNBC The emblem of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) at the court's entrance in Hamburg, Germany.

China has nominated a Chinese candidate for a judge's position in an international tribunal that settles maritime disputes. But the U.S. is seeking to stop China, arguing that Beijing has flouted international sea laws in the disputed South China Sea.

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WASHINGTON — After an international tribunal in The Hague ruled emphatically against China in a territorial dispute with the Philippines This week’ s ruling may have delivered a sweeping victory in court to the Philippines, which argued that its maritime territory was being illegally seized by China .

The South China Sea dispute is inherently a sensitive issue that ASEAN states cannot agree on due to Finally, China and the claimants are caught in a mutually reinforcing cycle. The bigger state will keep The only thing that ASEAN nations can do, should they really want to stand together against

"Electing a PRC official to this body is like hiring an arsonist to help run the Fire Department," said David Stilwell, U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, at an online forum held by think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies last month.

PRC refers to the People's Republic of China, the official name of the country.

"We urge all countries involved in the upcoming International Tribunal election to carefully assess the credentials of the PRC candidate and consider whether a PRC judge on the Tribunal will help or hinder international maritime law. Given Beijing's record, the answer should be clear," he added.

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is expected to hold an election in August or September to select seven judges to serve a nine-year term. All 168 signatories of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or UNCLOS, will cast their votes in the election.

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Furthering tensions, China ignored the judgment of an international tribunal in a 2016 suit against Beijing’ s expansive claims. Another group of disputes is related to the legal status of maritime feature in the South China Sea. According to UNCLOS, offshore features can be classified as

The cynical interpretation is that China wants to negotiate bilaterally so that it can bully others into submission. China would still be asserting maritime jurisdiction over most of the South China Sea. Moreover, a great irony of this scenario is that the Philippines arbitration tribunal , whose legitimacy

The UNCLOS is an international treaty that outlines nations' rights and responsibilities in the world's ocean space. It forms the basis for how international courts, such as the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, settle maritime disputes.

In 2016, a tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration dismissed China's claims of nearly 90% of the South China Sea as baseless according to UNCLOS principles. China, which negotiated and ratified the convention, refused to accept or recognize the ruling.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is not allowed to vote in the tribunal election because it has not ratified the convention. That's a point raised by Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman at China's foreign ministry, who disputed Stilwell's arguments.

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Neither the U . S . nor China wants a hot war, but they will continue to contest their differing interests in the region.

The U . S . State Department calls for a peaceful resolution of the maritime disputes in accordance with international law. “The decision today by the Tribunal in the Philippines- China arbitration is an important contribution to the shared goal of a peaceful resolution to disputes in the South China Sea

"So far, the United States has not ratified the UNCLOS, but has always posed as a defender of it," Hua said at a regular media conference by the ministry last month after she was asked for her comments.

"Judges of the Tribunal perform their duties in their personal capacity," she said, defending her country's candidate as one who's "well versed in international law and the law of the sea," according to an official transcript released on the ministry's website.

The U.S. gets tougher on China

It's not the first time that China has put up a candidate for the election of judges for the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. In fact, three Chinese judges have served at the judicial body since the first election was held in 1996, according to the tribunal's website.

But the U.S. brought attention to China's latest nomination as it toughened its stance against continued Chinese aggression in the South China Sea, a resource-rich waterway that's a vital shipping lane for global trade.

Stilwell's comments at the CSIS forum came a day after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called China's claims to "offshore resources" in the South China Sea "completely unlawful."

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China maintains [PDF] that , under international law, foreign militaries are not able to conduct While China is a signatory to the treaty, which established the tribunal , it refuses to accept the Chinese warships and fighter jets take part in a military display in the South China Sea on April 12, 2018.

The Tribunal also found that the Chinese government is aware that Chinese fishermen in the “ China neither accepts nor recognizes it ,” it added, in a statement posted to Xinhua’ s website. It marks the first significant international legal decision on the maritime disputes in the South China

The U.S. has long promoted freedom of navigation by air and sea across the waterway. However, China claims nearly all of South China Sea, an area encompassing about 1.4 million square miles, that stretches from Singapore to the Straits of Taiwan.

China backs up its claims and activities in the sea — including drilling for oil and creating artificial islands — with a vague "nine-dash line" that it said delineated Chinese historical territory in olden maps. The nine-dash line, which overlaps with territorial claims by several parties, was dismissed in the 2016 tribunal ruling.

According to UNCLOS, coastal states have sovereign rights to national resources within 200 nautical miles from their shores, and can conduct certain economic activities and maritime research within that area. The area marked out by the nine-dash line stretches far beyond 200 nautical miles from China's coast.

a close up of a map © Provided by CNBC

Analysts said a tougher stance by Washington against Beijing in the South China Sea could encourage other claimants to be more assertive toward Beijing. Many of the territorial claimants are smaller Southeast Asian states such as Vietnam and the Philippines, which have strong economic ties to China.

"The next time a China Coast Guard ship plays chicken with an oil rig off Vietnam or a flotilla of Chinese fishing boats appears in Indonesian waters, the United States will likely speak up more forcefully to decry the illegal action," said Greg Poling, senior fellow for Southeast Asia and director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at CSIS.

"And that will have a proportionately greater effect on China's international reputation."

Azar meets Taiwan's president in highest-level talks in decades .
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Monday met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen in the highest-level meeting between officials of the two nations in decades.According to CNN, Azar said his visit "demonstrates the robust US-Taiwan partnership on global health and health security, one of many aspects of our comprehensive friendship.""We consider Taiwan to be a vital partner, a democratic success story, and a force for good in the world," he added.The Health and Human Services secretary also said the trip was intended to have "three overarching themes," according to the network.

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