Monday, August 29, 2016

Position Paper In PH-CN Arbitrational Tribunal Result

This is a viewpoint regarding about the decision at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in which Philippines clearly won the case.

By the Blogger's Primary Perspective
The Hague and the Permanent Court of Arbitration have issued the result of the arbitral tribunal between China and the Philippines over the disputed islands in the South China Sea or in Philippine Terms, West Philippine Sea. This covers the island group naming the Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Shoal. This also discussed about China’s Nine Dash Line Claim.

            The decision goes in favor of the Philippines considering that the decision has nullify the claim of China and its invalidated claim of having sovereignty rights over the whole West Philippine Sea. That affirms my stance as a citizen of this Republic as favorable and also agreeable to the decision that was made by the court.

            In this reaffirms that the Philippines have the right to exploit resources within its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone in which it obtains the rich, biodiversity of the seas in which it will benefiting the fishermen situated west of the Philippines for their own livelihood. Moreover, the gas and oil deposits in the area can also be exploited in the sense that it will benefit the whole nation in the sense that it can alleviate the financial status as well as those of its citizens. Hence, the whole country will be independent on energy and as well the whole nation will experience the progress where primary needs are meant to be given more.

            The arbitration decision explicates that the islands in the disputed sea are nothing more than a mere rock and cannot sustain habitable life. That in which invalidates Taiwan’s claim that Itu Aba Island, the largest island there is in the Spratlys can sustain life. That will also invalidate the respective island’s entitlement of 200 nautical miles in which it can interfere with those of the Philippines.

            On the maps given, it is clear that the Scarborough Shoal and the Spratly Islands are all in close proximity to the Philippines rather than China. And it is also known that Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia also lay claim to the islands in the Spratly Islands. In the case of Scarborough Shoal, naming Panatag shoal in the Philippines, it is well known that Filipino fishermen used it as their refuge at the time the storm ravages the area. It is also known that Scarborough Shoal is already a Philippine Territory since way back Spanish times and was known as “Panacot Shoal”.

            The artificial islands created by China in some of the shoals in the area are condemned by the Philippines and its Western Allies like the United States. That will never validate their claims in the area so in fact that such actions can be seemed as provocative in the sense that a full-range conflict can spark anytime in the disputed areas. These man-made islands have airstrips with them and can accommodate jet fighters and jet bombers and can implement an Air Defense Identification Zone just like those implemented in the Senkaku islands in Japan. That alone is considered to be unlawful considering that it destroyed marine life situated at the shoals like those in Mischief Reef. That alone makes China unworthy to protect marine environment as per stipulation of the convention as well as violating the convention regarding artificial islands and attempted appropriation in line with the violations in the convention.

            China also illegally prevented fishermen from pursuing their livelihoods in the islands particularly in Scarborough Shoal. That area is considered to be traditional fishing grounds of the Philippines alongside from using it as a refuge during stormy periods as mentioned before in this paper.

            The decision also notes the failure China made in preventing its nationals and vessels from exploiting the resources in the area exclusively owned by the Philippines. That gives the queue that such actions made by China are also failed in the eyes of the arbitral tribunal, giving the Philippines the advantage.

            Chinese historical accounts are also vague and are not covered in the arbitral standards where it is determined by its own rules regarding the disputes. Such accounts are not included since the arbitration, upon the rules set by the United Nations Convention on the Law on Sea, is not based the claims from historical accounts. It involves the proximity of the islands or rocks to the nearest mainland, the archipelagic baseline in which it is based on, accounts from its citizens which is primarily the fishermen, and of course, the responsibility of such nation to preserve and effectively managing the islands without harming any biodiversity there is and as well exploiting the resources there is in the area in which only a particular nation only has the right to do.

            In this case, the Philippines in legal terms gained a lot in this tribunal decision wherein it gives the country the credibility in the international community to have the disputed waters as part of it. Moreover, China, despite the decision, still rejects the decision and is decided to become an outlaw by continuously improving the artificial it builds in the area. With that, in this case, gained more support to the Philippines from its allies and from across the world leaded by the United States of America, Japan, Vietnam and selective European countries like France and United Kingdom.

            Overall, the arbitral tribunal result between the Philippines and China is indeed favorable to the Philippines where the country’s plea on the stance of its national integrity is heard by the Permanent Court of Arbitration and is supported by the International Community. The Hague’s decision clearly states that China violates Philippine’s rights over its 200nm EEZ and its justification of claiming the waters through the 9-dash line is invalid. Thus, it is ascertain that the actions Philippines can make, on diplomatic actions or in deploying its ship for presence in the area, will be recognized by its allies well. And there will be the right time that these islands, once settled, will be fully back into the Philippine’s hands once again, after all things are set. 


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