Says Washington subscribes to international law when it is favourable and ignores it when it is not
The United States subscribes to international law when it is favourable and ignores it when it is not, China has said, hitting back at Washington which warned Beijing against ignoring an impending international court ruling on the South China Sea.
A senior U.S. diplomat warned yesterday that Beijing risked conflict, isolation and “terrible” damage to its reputation if it ignored an impending ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague constituted under the UN Convention on Law of the Seas, (UNCLOS) over a case the Philippines has brought against China.
Not to take part in UNCLOS proceedings
China has declined to take part in the UNCLOS proceedings saying that its judgement will not have any binding on its claims over the SCS
On the other hand, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying has said Washington is deliberately exaggerating the China threat at the expense of US taxpayers.
Refuting U.S. criticism, Ms. Hua told media here on Friday that the U.S. itself has not signed on to the UNCLOS.
Instead, Washington had introduced its so-called Freedom of Navigation Program in 1979 ahead of the convention’s introduction in 1982, Ms. Hua said.
Ms. Hua has also said that it is “a secret known to all” that the U.S. subscribes to international law when it is favourable, and ignores the law when it is not.
‘30 countries filed declarations’
She said more than 30 countries, in addition to China, have filed declarations in accordance with the convention to exclude disputes about maritime delimitation from compulsory arbitration and other compulsory dispute settlement procedures.
“China’s rejection of the arbitration and refusal to be part of it is to ensure the solemnity of international laws, including the convention, and to oppose abuse of them,” Ms. Hua said.
China claims sovereignty on all most of all of the SCS which is disputed by Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.
Though China says it will ignore the UNCLOS tribunal judgement, Chinese officials say it may add more pressure on Beijing as it would strengthen the case of Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries pressing China to settle the dispute.
Keywords: China criticism of U.S., South China Sea