Despite the fact that the whole world knows now that China’s historical claim over almost all of the South China Sea through its nine-dash line configuration had been negated and nullified by no less than the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in its marine territorial dispute with the Philippines, still China has shown nothing but belligerence in the decision.
Belittling the historic decision as rubbish, China’s foreign minister strongly warned the Philippines that the ruling is simply a ruling which China completely ignores.
While the Western world and those in the region considers the landmark decision a triumph of international law that ought to be respected and uphold, China on the other hand has nothing for it but disgust and resentment, especially towards the Philippines which brought up the issue to the arbitration court.
In complete defiance of the tribunal’s ruling, even as most democratic countries lauded it, China has not shown signs of abandoning its hegemony over the South China Sea but rather is acting more aggressive and arrogant making it known that any resolution of any conflict in the contested areas can only be made by directly negotiating with them.
China’s utter arrogance can be noticed when the Chinese foreign minister made a contemptuous statement, saying, “China expects the new Filipino government to cooperate and recognize that the ruling is nothing more than a piece of waste paper and cannot be enforced. China hopes that the Filipino side will set aside the award and return to the negotiation table.”
In the same vein, the Chinese official reportedly addressed the Philippine government, saying, “I kindly advise you to throw the papers concerning the arbitration into the rubbish bin, put them aside on book shelves, or put them in the archives. The disputes will eventually have to return to the table for negotiations and China hopes the Philippines to return to the track of bilateral negotiations.”
There is no problem talking with China because that is the proper and appropriate thing to do. The question, however, is: Will China get out of our exclusive economic zone?
As I was insinuating in my previous blog, ‘No euphoria in the favorable decision of China-Philippines arbitration’, the landmark decision, aside being an empty victory, is for the world community’s consumption to know and appreciate the legality of it.
To me and in that particular area, China has this unspoken line about the territorial conflict: What is mine is mine and what is yours is mine!
That is all there is to it!