Top US diplomat emphasises need to ensure rules-based maritime order
The international community has long benefited from the rules-based maritime order, where international law, as reflected in UNCLOS, sets out the legal framework for all activities in the oceans and seas, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Blinken made the remarks in a press statement issued on the fifth anniversary of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)’s ruling on the Philippines’ lawsuit against China on disputes in the South China Sea (called the East Sea in Vietnam) (July 12).
According to the statement, five years ago, an Arbitral Tribunal constituted under the 1982 UNCLOS, delivered a unanimous and enduring decision firmly rejecting China’s expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea as having no basis in international law. The Tribunal stated that China has no lawful claim to the area determined by the Arbitral Tribunal to be part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. China and the Philippines, pursuant to their treaty obligations under the 1982 UNCLOS, are legally bound to comply with this decision.
The US reaffirms its July 13, 2020 policy regarding maritime claims in the South China Sea, Blinken said.
He called on China to abide by its obligations under international law, cease its provocative behavior, and take steps to reassure the international community that it is committed to the rules-based maritime order that respects the rights of all countries, big and small./.