They are practically all of Europe, at least in terms of economic and military might, and they are not amused by China’s refusal to honor decisions of international judicial bodies.
The United Kingdom, France, and Germany all put their feet down on Beijing’s rejectionist stance on a judicially settled territorial issue between Beijing and Manila.
The position of the three European giants should send a powerful message to the Chinese ruling communist clique that they do not have key capitals in their pockets that they could drag behind their stance on international issues all the time.
No, Beijing: You can’t always have want you want.
And so thank you, London; danke, Bonn; and merci, Paris.
We join Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque in extending gratitude to the three European powers for supporting Manila’s win in the South China Sea by citing the 2016 Arbitral Award that invalidated Beijing’s expansive claims in the region.
“We thank these countries because there’s no erasing to what we won at the arbitral tribunal that there is no legal basis to China’s historical claims to maritime territories),” Rque said.
The three European states in a note verbale on Thursday challenged China’s illegal claims in the strategic waters as they affirmed the 2016 decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
France, Germany, and the UK also stressed that land building activities or other forms of artificial transformation cannot change the classification of a feature under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The Tribunal, basing its decision under UNCLOS, ruled that “none of the high-tide features in the Spratly Islands, in their natural condition, are capable of sustaining human habitation or economic life of their own”.
It said none of the high tide features in the Spratly Islands generate entitlements to an exclusive economic zone or continental shelf.
Roque said while China continues to reject the arbitral award, it remains binding on the signatories of UNCLOS, to which Beijing is part of.
“The ruling was not recognized by China but since they are party to the UNCLOS, they gave their consent to settle all maritime dispute through a dispute settlement procedure prescribed in the UNCLOS,” he said.
The three European nations’ diplomatic notes, dated September 16, came following the numerous communications issued by China in response to Malaysia’s submission to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf last year.
The note verbale submitted to the UN asserted the 2016 arbitral award which opposed China’s vast “historical claims” in the resource-rich South China Sea.