Pakistan Focus condemns the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)’s award on South China Sea. The Philippines had filed a compulsory arbitration against China at The Hague-based PCA in 2013. China maintains that the tribunal has no jurisdiction over the case, which is in essence about territorial sovereignty and maritime delimitation. China, therefore, had made it clear it will not accept or get involved in those proceedings.
Pakistan Focus recognizes China’s declaration to defend its historical territory and fully endorsed the position taken by China on the South China Sea in regard to its sovereignty over Nansha Islands and the surrounding waters. Pakistan Focus is of the view that disputes over the South China Sea should be peacefully resolved, through consultations and negotiations by states directly concerned, in accordance with bilateral agreements and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC). The tribunal also ruled that China had violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights by constructing artificial islands there, and caused “permanent irreparable harm to the coral reef ecosystem.”
Pakistan Focus condemns imposition of unilateral will on others, and respects China’s statement of optional exception in light of Article 298 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Maintenance of peace and security is the collective responsibility of all parties to the South China Sea.
Chinese position is that it has full rights over the sea and has moved ahead with construction of island sites. In a statement, the Foreign Ministry “solemnly declares that the award is null and void and has no binding force,” and said “China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea shall under no circumstances be affected by those awards.” Pakistan Focus stands by China’s statement.