Sunday, March 30, 2014



 EDITOR's NOTE: 11/14/2014 While the Philippines filed their brief against China's claim to virtually the entire South China Sea the relevant tribunal has not issued a ruling, and we don't expect one soon, though we continue to monitor the case. This pending case we think is an important factor in limiting the illegal behaviors that the Dragon is willing to engage in to further its demand for the territory of its neighbors.China refuses to participate in the tribunal knowing that it is very rare for a UN tribunal to rule in a case where one party refuses to submit to jurisdiction. However, the Philippines has maritime territorial disputes with other neighbors and all of these are affected by Chinese claims. The tribunal must rule for some of the participants. It will be very difficult to rule in these cases without mentioning China, and her missing chair at the tribunal. 

 Late last week the Philippines submitted to a United Nations Tribunal on the Law of the Sea an approximately 4,000 page pleading with memorandums in support detailing its objections to the claims levied by China to sovereign Philippine territory in the South China Sea. The documents purport to demonstrate that China's massive territorial claims are "unlawful and invalid". Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario refers to the document that we called a "pleading" as a "memorial", perhaps a more correct term in an international maritime tribunal. In a statement describing the "memorial" del Rosario stated that it was submitted to the five member Arbitral Tribunal based in the Netherlands. The Philippines filed their case with the tribunal in January 2013 seeking "a clarification of maritime entitlements " of parties that included China under the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention. In what we would call the "prayer" in a "pleading" the Philippines asked the court to declare China's claim in the South China Sea ( basically China claims the entire sea to within a stone's throw of Philippine main islands beaches) "invalid" and contrary to the terms of the convention. In our opinion the Philippines has a rock solid legal case. Unfortunately China has simply refused to participate in the process. United Nations tribunals rarely make awards or pass judgments on non -participants.

 However Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei, and Malaysia also have competing claims with the Philippines and China. It would be difficult for the court to articulate the rights of the other parties who are entitled to a decision without touching on the Chinese claim. A well worded decision would leave China with no legal argument to stand on in the community of nations and expose the Dragon as an international thug without question. The Philippines would be in a better position to respond more aggressively to Chinese intrusions. A more aggressive response to the Dragon's intrusions increases the chances of naval war in the South China Sea with U.S. involvement virtually assured. Despite the threat, we hope the Memorial is favorably commented on by the court simply because it is right. Some times there is no choice but to fight for the right. Should such a war come it will destroy China's economy without a shot being fired on the main land, improve the U.S. economy in the long run assuming that the U.S. populace won't stand for a Washington bail out of U.S. companies that shipped all of their jobs to China after China nationalizes their assets, and will end with the Chinese communists party leaders and office holders hanging from lamp posts when the Chinese people see where this aggressive folly led them. The alternative is that the Communists Chinese leadership hits the nuclear panic button and in the ensuing exchange the U.S. experiences the equivalent of several Katrinas and China becomes a glow in the dark parking lot. "Memorial", perhaps a more apt description than we first thought.


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