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2016年7月18日 (月)

アジア欧州会議 中国は国際法に背を向けるな

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Countries should work together to urge China not to reject international law
アジア欧州会議 中国は国際法に背を向けるな

It cannot be overlooked that China is disregarding the court of arbitration’s decision, which fully dismissed Beijing’s claims regarding its sovereignty over the South China Sea.

It is crucial for countries concerned to work together to continue to urge Beijing to follow the ruling.

The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) ended its summit by adopting a chairperson’s statement that mentioned the importance of solving disputes based on the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The document refrained from making a direct reference to the South China Sea, in consideration of Beijing. This is in a way unavoidable because documents, in principle, have to be adopted unanimously.

We welcome the fact that many leaders discussed the South China Sea issue during the summit and expressed support for maintaining maritime order based on the rule of law.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe emphasized that the ruling was “final and legally binding for countries concerned in the dispute.” We regard his comments as a matter of course.

It was questionable that Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, during a meeting with Abe, said once again that his country rejected the ruling. “Japan should not make a fuss about and intervene in the South China Sea issue,” Li said.

Beijing dismissed the arbitration proceedings as a “political farce” and even described the ruling as “paper waste.” The country has been repeating landing tests by civilian aircraft at airports on artificial islands it has constructed in the Spratly Islands, with the aim of making its effective control over the South China Sea a fait accompli.

Unworthy of UNSC

Beijing has been heightening regional tensions even further by turning its back on the international court’s decision. Such self-serving actions and statements are unworthy of a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, which is responsible for regional stability.

Beijing claimed that it was unfair that Shunji Yanai, then president of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, appointed four arbitration court judges in charge of the South China Sea case. However, we regard this as unreasonable.

Experts were chosen as judges for the case based on procedures under UNCLOS. It is China’s boycotting of the procedures that is the problem.

China is staging a propaganda campaign to justify itself by claiming that more than 70 countries support its position. We suspect this action indicates how desperate Beijing is about becoming isolated in the international community.

It is of no small significance that the chairperson’s statement expressed a resolve to prevent violent extremism, following the terrorist attacks in Nice, France, and Bangladesh.

Armed groups and others are committing attacks in many parts of the world in response to calls by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant organization. In the medium and long term, it is important to work together in coping with social issues that can serve as hotbeds of extremism, such as employment measures for younger generations.

In the economic field, the summit focused on stabilizing the global economy, which has been shaken since Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

It is reasonable that the statement confirmed that countries are ready to use all their policy tools: monetary, fiscal and structural reforms.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 17, 2016)


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