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Negotiations, goodwill necessary to solve South China Sea situation: Czech expert

Editor: Zhang Pengfei 丨Xinhua

07-12-2016 08:27 BJT

Full coverage: The South China Sea Issue

PRAGUE, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Negotiations and goodwill are necessary to definitively solve the situation in the South China Sea, Czech expert, Prof. Oskar Krejci told Xinhua in an interview recently.

Krejci is the director of the Institute of Global Studies at the University of Jan Amos Komensky Prague and former adviser to two prime ministers of the former Czechoslovakia.

"Forced arbitration cannot be a rational solution," Krejci said. The Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, which China signed in 2002, together with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), could be a start, he indicated.

In Article 4 of the declaration, it is stated that disputes shall be resolved directly by the countries concerned by negotiations and consultations. "With goodwill, a basis for negotiations could be found," Krejci added.

He said the idea of forced arbitration is not a suitable solution in this dispute. "It is in itself very questionable," Krejci said.

Arbitration differs from regular courts, where both sides of dispute give permission to the third party to decide for them which of those two is right. The general rule, agreed by China and 30 other countries in signing the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, stipulates that there cannot be an arbitration case against territorial integrity.

In this particular case, China has announced that they are refusing to participate in the arbitration initiated by the Philippines. "It is very difficult to describe what is happening in The Hague. I hope that the verdict of the Permanent Court of Arbitration will be: 'This case is not for us,'" Krejci said.

According to him, calm negotiation and renegotiations are the best solutions to the issue.

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