"It will certainly intensify conflict and even confrontation," China's ambassador to the U.S., Cui Tiankai, said hours after the Hague-based tribunal issued its decision. "In the end it will undermine the authority and effectiveness of international ...
The U.S. pressed China to abide by an international tribunalâ€™s rejection of its claim over much of the South China Sea, framing the ruling as an opportunity for Beijing to show itâ€™s the â€œglobal power it professes itself to be.â€In unusually strong comments Tuesday after the decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, State Department spokesman John Kirby said the world was watching to see whether China would obey the decision over a waterway that hosts about $5 trillion in trade a year. The countryâ€™s leaders have already said they wonâ€™t accept the ruling in the case, brought by the Philippines but followed closely by nations across Southeast Asia.â€œThis is a legally binding decision,â€ Kirby told reporters. â€œThe world is watching to see if China is really the global power it professes itself to be and the responsible power that it professes itself to be.â€QuickTake Territorial ClaimsKirbyâ€™s comments reflected U.S. efforts to frame the ruling not as a discussion of the individual claims -- several countries assert sovereignty over parts of the South China Sea -- but as a matter of international law and order. The U.S. military has repeatedly sent ships near disputed waters as part of what it calls â€œfreedom of navigationâ€ maneuvers. The U.S. has also made clear it opposes Chinaâ€™s land reclamation and installation of military facilities on reefs and shoals there.http://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2015-south-china-sea/â€˜Cool Down Tensionsâ€™The U.S. must now decide how firmly to push the matter, balancing its geopolitical desire to blunt Chinese influence in the South China Sea against caution about inflaming Chinese anger and the need to avoid any perception itâ€™s meddling or making the problem worse. The U.S. hopes the ruling will lead to productive talks about the claims once the dust settles and the rhetoric subsides, a State Department official who asked not to be identified told reporters on a conference call.â€œWe should recall that President George H.W. Bush is often remembered for his wise and -- at the time, unpopular -- insistence after the Iron Curtain fell in 1989 that Americans not â€˜dance on the ruins of the Berlin Wall,â€™ said Paul Haenle, a China adviser for President George W. Bush whoâ€™s now director of the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing. â€œIt is in all sidesâ€™ interests to cool down tensions.â€Despite that concern, the dispute provoked new friction between the nations just hours after the ruling came down. China filed a formal protest against an earlier Kirby statement calling the ruling an â€œimportant contributionâ€ to the goal of a peaceful resolution in the sea.For an outline of the ruling and how it affects China, click here.Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the U.S. is â€œalways selective when it comes to the application of international law: citing international law when it sees fit and discarding international law when it sees otherwise,â€ the state-run Xinhua News Agency said. The website of the Communist Partyâ€™s mouthpiece, the Peopleâ€™s Daily, called the arbitration a U.S.-led conspiracy.U.S.-Canada DisputeKirby was prepared for that criticism, along with the argument the U.S. has little ground to stand on since it hasnâ€™t ratified the treaty on the law of the sea that governed the ruling. He cited a 1984 ruling by the International Court of Justice on a maritime dispute between the U.S. and Canada. Both sides â€œcomplied with the decision,â€ Kirby said. â€œSo we have done this ourselves.â€U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said all claimants in the arbitration case should â€œcontinue to pursue peaceful, multilateral means to resolve disputes among them.â€The U.S. has a deep interest in the South China Sea, â€œand to the free flow of commerce -- so critical to our economy -- that flows through it,â€ she said in a statement.A White House official also stressed the importance of the rule of law in a speech shortly before Kirby spoke. Dan Kritenbrink, the National Security Councilâ€™s senior director for Asian affairs, reiterated that the U.S. would accept any conclusion the claimants work out.
â€œWhat we are not prepared to accept, however, is the emergence of a different set of rules in the South China Sea relative to the rest of the world,â€ Kritenbrink said. â€œWe believe that such a development would lead to breakdowns in the rules-based international order.â€Kritenbrink also said the U.S. would keep up a â€œsteady tempoâ€ of military operations in the region, including freedom of navigation maneuvers. China has said such operations exacerbate tensions and calls them a pretext for the U.S. to undermine Chinaâ€™s claims. Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE
Law,South China Sea,China