"China is a role model in observing regional and international rules. We maintain that interests shall be protected by rules, not by weapons," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a press briefing.
FMPRC/Released
Fact check: China claims being a 'role model' in observing international rules
Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) - January 18, 2019 - 1:48pm

MANILA, Philippines — Beijing considers itself a "role model in observing regional and rules" while it has been blatanly ignoring an arbitration ruling on the South China Sea.

In response to a report by the US Department of Defense stating that Beijing might use its military expansion to compel Taiwan into a reunification with the mainland, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said such observations were baseless.

"We maintain that interests shall be protected by rules, not by weapons. In fact, as you may have all noted, even for a country as militarily powerful as the US, it cannot have its way in everything it does," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a press briefing earlier this week.

Hua added that Beijing strengthens its own defense capabilities to protect its own sovereignty and security.

China has overlapping claims with several other countries in the South China Sea, including the Philippines.

"We maintain that interests shall be protected by rules, not by weapons. In fact, as you may have all noted, even for a country as militarily powerful as the US, it cannot have its way in everything it does," Hua said.

The July 2016 ruling of the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration invalidated Beijing's historic nine-dash line claim over the South China Sea. 

The arbitral tribunal also concluded that Beijing violated its commitment under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) upon constructing artificial islands in the Philippines' exclusive economic zone.

China's refusal to acknowledge the arbitration in itself is a contradiction of the Chinese Foreign Ministry's claim that Beijing is a "role model" in international rules compliance.

Although the United Nations-backed tribunal does not have an enforcement mechanism, the landmark ruling is final and legally binding on both parties.

The ruling was a clear victory for the Philippines but the Duterte administration refuses to bring it up with China in exchange for stronger ties.

In November 2018, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo claimed that the arbitration was of no use to the Philippines at the moment as the tribunal does not have enforcement capacity.

"Our position is the arbitral ruling says it is ours but, meanwhile, cannot be enforced," Panelo said.

Since the ruling was issued more than two years ago, Beijing continued installing military facilities on its artificial islands, some of which are also being claimed by Manila.

China's "big three" islands — Fiery Cross, Mischief and Subi Reefs — have been installed with anti-cruise ship missiles, surface-to-air missile system and electronic jamming equipment, which Beijing claims to be for civilian use.

There have also been reports that Chinese Coast Guard personnel continue to harass Filipino fishermen in the West Philippine Sea, the portion of the South China Sea that Manila claims. The tribunal also ruled that Beijing's interference with Philippine fishing exploration was a violation of its commitment under the UNCLOS.

FACT CHECK PHILIPPINES ARBITRATION CASE PHILIPPINES-CHINA TIES SOUTH CHINA SEA WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with