Forecasting The Aftermath Of A Ruling On China’s Nine-Dash Line

maritime-zones

Forecasting The Aftermath Of A Ruling On China’s Nine-Dash Line

By Jerome A. Cohen

Summarized For Intelligence Observer by David McDonald

Executive Summary: 

An international arbitration tribunal is currently adjudicating a dispute between China and the Philippines.  Many officials believe the court will rule in favor of the Philippines and are concerned that China will not adhere to the outcome.

  • China played a significant role in establishing UNCLOS.  Despite its ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), China stands in opposition to the agreement.  Many regional actors argue that China’s activities in the South China Sea displays its opposition to international norms.  Any chance of China following UNCLOS will only occur if many of the affected countries increase their pressure on China.
  • There is a lot of debate on how China should respond to the court decision.  Many political and legal officials, both within and outside of China’s government argue that China should challenge the international tribunal’s jurisdiction in the Philippine claim.  Whereas, many other nations believe that China should follow the ruling, regardless of the outcome.
  • Taiwan is in the trickiest situation of all South China Sea countries. Taiwan is in the toughest situation in the region because of its unclear relationship with China.  Taiwan is a contradiction when it comes to regional claims.  On one hand, the Taiwanese president has stated that Taiwan will not give up the claims it made under China’s flag.  On the other hand, Taiwan is trying to present itself as a supporter of UNCLOS, which China opposes.
  •  To this day, China continues its attempts to convince the international community that it adheres to international norms.  China’s attempts at convincing the world of its peaceful rise has occurred for decades.  Because of these claims, China’s lack of acceptance of UNCLOS continues to disturb many nations.     

Original article: http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/04/20/a-big-ruling-on-the-south-china-sea-nine-dash-line-draws-near-beijing-philippines-japan-taiwan-aftermath/

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