China said on Saturday that it would ignore the decision of an international arbitration panel in a Philippine lawsuit against Beijing’s sweeping territorial claims in the South China Sea.
“To put it simply, the arbitration case actually has gone beyond the jurisdiction” of a UN arbitration panel, said Rear Adm Guan Youfei, director of the foreign affairs office of China’s National Defence Ministry.
The Philippines has filed a case in the United Nations under the UN Convention on Law of the Sea, questioning China’s territorial claim. An arbitration panel is expected to rule on the case soon. The Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled last year that it has jurisdiction over the case despite China’s rejection.
The lawyer leading the Philippine team in its fierce legal battle against China belongs to a select group of elite lawyers with extensive experience in representing sovereign states before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (Itlos) in Hamburg, Germany, according to Chambers Global, which ranks law firms and lawyers across the world.
Paul Reichler of the Boston-based law firm Foley Hoag has specialized for more than 25 years in land and maritime boundary disputes, the law firm said on its website.
Reichler works with four other lawyers from the United States and the United Kingdom, in arguing the country’s case before the UN arbitral tribunal in The Hague, The Netherlands.
|Image: The face of the “Philippines'” case against China in the South China Sea – US lawyer Paul Reichler.|
Because the American effort to ‘integrate’ China into the liberal international order has now generated new threats to U.S. primacy in Asia—and could result in a consequential challenge to American power globally—Washington needs a new grand strategy toward China that centers on balancing the rise of Chinese power rather than continuing to assist its ascendancy.
In more than 95% of international cases — litigation and arbitration before various international courts and tribunals — the states comply with the judgment, even if they are unhappy with it. There are at least two reasons for this. First is reputation and the influence that comes with it. The second reason is that many states understand it is to their advantage, and the advantage of others, to live in a rules-based system. Now, in the case of China, we see a country that is a great power that wishes to project its influence across the international community. China also advertises itself as the anti-imperialist great power, in contrast to the U.S., Russia and others. Think of the economic advantages that will accrue to the richest and most powerful nation in the region if these disputes are resolved and investment in resource extraction from the South China Sea begins.