Opinion / Featured Contributors

Ruling of arbitration can't challenge China's territorial integrity

By Han Dongping (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2016-07-07 14:19

Ruling of arbitration can't challenge China's territorial integrity

File photo of South China Sea. [Photo/Xinhua] 

The South China Sea has been an inalienable part of Chinese territory historically. China has the clear and undeniable historical evidence to back its position in the South China Sea, which is the most important legal ground for a country’s territorial claim according to international law. Throughout history, Chinese people have been fishing in the South China Sea. As recently as in 1943, China’s Nationalist Government declared the Nine Dash Line as the demarcation of its territory. Until recently, nobody, including the US, the sole superpower in the world, had openly challenged China’s position on the South China Sea.

As the US reached the peak of its power at the end of WWII, it lost its cool, and began to mess in other countries’ internal affairs. First, it got involved in China’s civil war, ending up on the wrong side of history. But it refused to learn the lessons, and continued to mess illegally with the Korean civil war and Vietnam civil war, with heavy financial and human losses. Recently, the US illegally invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, bombed Libya and got deeply involved in the Syrian civil war, causing tremendous destruction and suffering in the world.

While the US has been messing in other countries’ internal affairs, causing trouble everywhere it was involved, China has been developing peacefully, bringing prosperity not only to its own people but also to the South East Asian Nations including Philippines and other parts of the world. The whole world has come to recognize China as the most important economic engine of the world, bringing peace and stability everywhere China is involved.

As China rises in the world through peaceful development, the US began to worry about its status as the sole superpower in the world. Instead of concentrating on developing its own economy, the US has been looking for ways to undermine China’s peaceful development and its rise in the world. Encouraging the Filipino Government to seek arbitration of the Permanent Court on the South China Sea, and sending gunboats and carriers to the South China Sea to defend the so called freedom of navigation in the South China Sea are parts of its strategy to undermine China’s development and its rise in the world.

We are still living in the post WWII world. The Chinese people made the greatest sacrifices during WWII for world peace. That is one of the most important reasons that China is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. As such, China is one of the most important pillars of world peace in the world. But China is the only permanent UN Security Council member which still has territorial integrity issues in the world. That is one of the biggest injustices in our world today.

China must spare no efforts in telling the world that China will not allow anybody or any organization to arbitrate its territorial integrity. The Arbitration Panel has no legal authority to arbitrate on a country’s territorial integrity. There is no historical precedent in international law. China must let the Filipino Government and others know its determination to defend its territorial integrity.

For its own good, the Filipino Government must stop serving as a paw in US strategy in undermining China’s development. China and the Philippines are important neighbors. The Philippines should join China in its efforts to maintain peace in the South China Sea and bringing development and prosperity to the region which will benefit every country in the region including itself.

The US has been wasting its resources in sending gunboats and carriers to the South China Sea, creating military tension there, which does no good to itself. More and more people in the world, including American people, have realized that US military intervention in the world has been the cause of constant destruction and suffering in our world. The American people do not want to bear the financial burden and human casualties in these military adventures. It is time that the US focus its attention on its fiscal health and stop wasting its resources messing around in other people’s affairs.

The author is a professor at Warren Wilson College, North Carolina, and a guest professor at Hebei University.

The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and don't represent views of China Daily website.


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