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  • Print publication year: 2021
  • Online publication date: March 2021

12 - China and International Dispute Settlement

from Part IV - China, BRI and Resolution of Maritime Disputes

Summary

It takes up the South China Sea arbitration case between China and Philippines concerning maritime entitlements in the South China Sea. The relevant arbitral tribunal ruled in favor of the Philippines, first on the jurisdiction and admissibility issues in October 2015, and then on the merits in July 2016. China has not only refused to accept the tribunal’s jurisdiction but also vigorously attacked the validity and legality of the final award. China’s handling of this case has several implications for its approach to international dispute settlement. The South China Sea Arbitration may have given China two takeaways: the appreciation of the importance of using international law and the understanding that foreign countries – led by the United States – again are using international law as a disguise to violate China’s sovereignty. A combination of these two factors will strengthen the prevailing attitude of treating international law as a tool to protect China’s national interest, rather than a serious belief in international rule of

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