CABLE: THE PHILIPPINE ARGUMENT FOR ARBITRATION IN THE SCS

UNCLASSIFIED

CLEARED:  IO READERS

DRAFTED: DMCDONALD

FROM: EAST ASIA CORRESPONDENT

TO: IO

SUBJECT: THE PHILIPPINE ARGUMENT FOR ARBITRATION IN THE SCS

  1. SUMMARY. PHILIPPINES SUPREME COURT SENIOR ASSOCIATE JUSTICE ANTONIO CARPIO CITES SEVERAL ARTICLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA (UNCLOS) TO AFFIRM HIS STANCE THAT CHINA HAS NO ARGUMENT FOR CLAIMING SOUTH CHINA SEA (SCS) ISLANDS. CHINA’S VIOLATION OF THE 1982 UNCLOS ARTICLES ON EEZS AND THE FISHING RIGHTS PUT INTERNATIONAL LAW IN JEOPARDY.  END SUMMARY.
  1. JUSTICE CARPIO ARGUES THAT THE PHILIPPINE ARBITRATION OVER SCS CLAIMS IS NOT A TERRITORIAL DISPUTE, BUT A MARITIME ONE. THE ARBITRATION IS DISCUSSING WHETHER CHINA’S NINE-DASH LINE CLAIMS CAN ENCROACH UPON THE PHILIPPINES’ 200 NAUTICAL MILE EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE (EEZ).  THE PHILIPPINES ASKED THE COURT ABOUT THE EXTENT OF MARITIME ENTITLEMENTS OF CERTAIN ISLANDS.
  1. A FACTOR OF THE SCS DISPUTE TIES INTO FISHING RIGHTS OF DIFFERENT NATIONS WITHIN THE REGION. CARPIO ARGUES THAT CHINA IS THE BIGGEST VIOLATOR OF UNCLOS ARTICLE 192 ABOUT THE PROTECTION OF THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT. SEVEN COUNTRIES COLLECT FISH FROM MISCHIEF REEF, WHICH CHINA NOW CONTROLS.
  1. THROUGHOUT CHINA’S RECLAMATION PROCESS, IT HAS CLAIMED HISTORIC RIGHTS OVER CERTAIN ISLANDS WITHIN THE SCS. CARPIO STATES, HOWEVER, THE CHINA CANNOT CLAIM HISTORIC RIGHTS ACCORDING TO UNCLOS ARTICLE 77[3].  THIS ARTICLE CLAIMS THAT NATIONS CANNOT CLAIM HISTORIC RIGHTS AND ONLY ADJACENT STATES CAN ECONOMICALLY EXPLOIT AN EEZ.  NO COUNTRY CAN USE NATURAL RESOURCES WITHIN AN EEZ WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM THE ADJACENT STATE.
  1. COMMENT. DESPITE SIGNING A 2002 ASEAN DECLARATION SUPPORTING THE 1982 UNLOS AGREEMENT, CHINA HAS VIOLATED MANY OF THE ARTICLES RELATED TO FISHING AND THE USE OF EEZS.  END COMMENT.

MCDONALD

For further inquiries, please refer to the following: http://amti.csis.org/ArbitrationTL/index.html

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