Pressure on China builds on South China Sea issues from Japan, USA, now activists.
Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi called on China this week to recognize the 12 July 2016 ruling of the arbitral tribunal adjudicating a Philippines’ 2013 case against China in the South China Sea. The case was brought pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The decision trounced China’s claims to the South China Sea and condemned China for its assaults on Philippines’ sovereignty.
China’s derisive response, according to Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, “is against the principle of peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law, in particular UNCLOS, and undermines the rule of law.”
This could imply that China itself would be damaged by its own conduct in the event it ever needed the aid of international rule of law, specifically UNCLOS.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, warned this week that the USA will back the Philippines if push comes to shove.
Monday was the fifth anniversary of the UNCLOS tribunal decision favouring the Philippines and smashing to bits the China edict that it owned the South China Sea parts inside its so-called nine-dash-line.
“Nowhere is the rules-based maritime order under greater threat than in the South China Sea,” said Secretary Blinkin.
“China continues to coerce and intimidate Southeast Asian coastal states, threatening freedom of navigation in this critical global throughway,” added Secretary Blinkin.
Video: See and hear what “fisher folk” are saying about their chances of feeding families while Chinese vessels are ramming their little fishing boats.
A global civil society-organized protest, scheduled by activists for major cities and islands in the South China Sea, starting 11 November, has set out some of its goals.
“Reversing the militarization of the South China Sea by the Peoples Republic of China,” seems to be the organizers’ foremost objective. The group, comprised of many prominent Filipinos, Malaysians and Indonesians, claims that reclamation of “sea coral and low tide rocks” has disrupted the ecological balance, killing off some species and hindering the sustainability of sea life and sea birds as well as vegetation in the South China Sea.
The activists seek to rename the China Seas to Asian Seas for what the organizers say are “disambiguation reasons”.
Another focus of the organizing consortium, is reversing the pollution in the South and East China Seas which the organizers say has “negatively impacted climate change and imposed a burden on humanity”.
Likely rattling China’s chain at least, is the goal in the organizer’s litany of issues to be resolved: “Ending the China military transgressions of sovereign boundaries, belligerence, and bullying by China against all its neighbours, not limited to but including Taiwan, the Philippines, Japan, Vietnam and Malaysia plus others. Also ending China’s stealing the fishing catch of neighbouring nations’ vessels; preventing the theft of fishing gear of China’s neighbours’ vessels; and preventing China from sinking fishing vessels of its neighbours.”
The organizers support and adopt the 12 July 2016 decision of the Arbitral Tribunal constituted under Annex VII to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea which decision said, [paraphrased] “China does not own the South China Sea which is shared by 7.8 billion people around the world.”
Read if you wish the actual documents referenced in this article:
- Tribunal Press-Release-on-South-China-Sea-Decision
- The-Law of the Sea Tribunal Decision-in favour of the Philippines
The 11 November South China Sea demilitarization consortium wants protest organizers in each country to work toward convincing nearly eight billion people around the world that they too have helped make a polluted mess of the South China Sea and should work toward teaching all nations, especially those surrounding the South China Sea that “this resource is a blessed gift to all humans and must be preserved in a better ecological, human-friendly state, to become naturally harmonious to its sea life, sea birds, and indigenous vegetation.”
“What the South China Sea looks like now: A prelude to war,” warn protest organizers.
Demilitarizing South China Sea protest organizers are offering a chance to sign up for a peaceable process “involving academics and activists” to find the common ground of the parties, while showing supporters many visuals of warships and warplanes in the South China Sea, filling the coastal nations with horror of war as many suffer hunger from China’s prevention of “fisher folks taking food from the sea”.
“Xi Jinping has militarised the South China sea with billions of dollars worth of warships, guns, missiles, bombers and dozens of missile launching military bases upon sand piles atop coral reefs. Beijing says this is because America has been threatening China. …The world needs the academics and the activists to make a stand, before the world really ends.”
Much of the world, especially America, has reminded China that there is widespread support for the Philippines’ victory in the UNCLOS tribunal decision of 12 July 2016, urging China to adhere to the Court’s rulings. But there is also a strong fear that a major war could break out, says the South China Sea demilitarization organizing committee on its web site.
“An armed attack on Philippine armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft in the South China Sea would invoke U.S. mutual defense commitments under Article IV of the 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty,” US Secretary of State Blinken said on Monday.