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No reason for China to accept South China Sea arbitration award: Bangladeshi experts

Editor: Zhang Pengfei 丨Xinhua

07-13-2016 08:08 BJT

Full coverage: The South China Sea Issue

DHAKA, July 12 (Xinhua) -- There is no reason for China to accept the award of an arbitral tribunal in the South China Sea arbitration established at the request of the Philippines, Bangladeshi experts said here Tuesday.

The tribunal handling the South China Sea arbitration case unilaterally initiated by the former Philippine government issued its final award on Tuesday, amid a global chorus that the panel has no jurisdiction.

China, on the same day, said it neither accepts nor recognizes the award. "The award is null and void and has no binding force," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Bangladeshi experts said the Philippines has lied in its unilaterally-initiated case since 2013.

They said people all around the world know clearly that China has refused to participate in the arbitration proceedings as the tribunal in The Hague has no jurisdiction over the case, which is in essence related to territorial sovereignty and maritime delimitation.

"What the tribunal has done can never be called an arbitration," said Ashfaqur Rahman, former Bangladeshi Ambassador to China.

He said, "Arbitration is a process in which both the disputed parties agree to argue their cases and agree to accept verdict whatever it is."

In this case, he said, "We all know that China was not a party. It did not take part in the process. So how can it be called an arbitration?"

A law professor, who did not like to be named, said, "It's very clear to us that the so-called arbitration on the South China Sea initiated unilaterally by the Philippines is abuse of international law."

China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea shall under no circumstances be affected by the so-called award, he said.

Bangladeshi experts pointed out that by refusing to engage in consultation and negotiation with China, and by unilaterally initiating the case, the Philippines has shifted away from its commitment to seek to settle its disputes with China in the South China Sea in good faith, and attempted to obtain unlawful interests in the South China Sea.

Bangladeshi experts also called on the United States to stop its interference in the regional affairs.

Lieutenant General (retired) Mahbubur Rahman, former chief of army staff of the Bangladesh Army, said, "I think what America is doing over the South China Sea issue is just disturbing the region."

"America should refrain from its naked interference in the affairs of the South Asia and the Southeast Asia regions," he stressed.

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