Thứ Sáu, 15 tháng 7, 2016

Boisée (Woody) Island or Phú Lȃm Island of the Paracels  Archipelago
belonged to Vietnam was invaded and occupied illegally by the Republic of China (Chiang Kai Check) in 1947 after the Japanese left Indochina .  Map US Marine 1944. Edited by Hoàng Hoa Map Chart 5496 Copyrighted © by the US Marine 1944.

Caught between a reef and a hard place, Manila's South China Sea victory runs aground

By Greg Torode and Manuel Mogato,Reuters
HONG KONG/MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines may have won an emphatic legal victory over China in the South China Sea, but the aptly named Mischief Reef shows just how hard it will be for Manila to make its triumph count in the strategic waterway.
Chinese construction on the reef, which began two decades ago as a few rickety shelters perched on stilts, now covers an area larger than 500 football fields. It includes a 3 km (9,800 feet) runway, extensive housing, parade grounds and radar nests, satellite images show.
According to Tuesday's landmark ruling, however, the reef and everything on it legally belongs to the Philippines and no amount of time or building will change that.
Publicly, Manila has been unusually cautious in its response to the sweeping ruling, urging "restraint and sobriety". In private, officials acknowledge they have little hope of recovering Mischief Reef any time soon despite the unequivocal ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.
"This will take time, not in the next five or 10 years," said one senior Philippine navy official, requesting anonymity to speak freely on the highly sensitive matter.
It was, he said, "impossible to evict the Chinese there".
Beijing, which boycotted the case from the outset, says the ruling has no bearing on its rights in the South China Sea and has reasserted it claims to Mischief and other features.
On Thursday, the state-run People's Daily ran a picture on its front page of a civilian aircraft landing at the new Mischief airport, two Chinese flags rippling from the cockpit.
"As I've said before, it won't have any effect," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said, when asked if China would seek to bolster its sovereignty over Mischief Reef.
"At the same time, I want to stress that if any person wants to take the outcome of this arbitration as a basis for taking any provocative steps against China's interests, China will most certainly resolutely respond," Lu told reporters.
With the panel having no powers to enforce its ruling, mainland experts see no sign that China will scale back its actions across the South China Sea.
"The tribunal's decision is so sweeping that it is not going to help solve the problem," said Sienho Yee, an international law specialist at China's Wuhan University.
Other Chinese experts, speaking privately, said the ruling was being closely scrutinized, despite official statements dismissing its relevance.
Some among leadership elites had been "stung" by its comprehensive stance against China.
"There is surprise at the extent of the sheer arrogance of these judges sitting (in Europe) deciding what is a rock and what is an island," said one Beijing-based scholar.
"It can only serve to unify our leadership and harden Chinese views, and that includes the military leadership. There will be little appetite to take a step back."
Manila's "softly, softly" approach reflected its understanding of that risk, Philippine officials said.
"We should find ways to allow some face-saving actions because China could face tremendous domestic pressure," the Philippine navy official said. "We don't want the Chinese Communist Party to be overthrown by the more hot-headed people in the People's Liberation Army. That will be too dangerous."
President Xi Jinping has moved extensively to tighten his grip on power since assuming office almost four years ago and there has been no sign of any such action.
The decision on Mischief Reef is among the most significant within the 479-page judgment from the panel, which looked at the territorial rights of disputed reefs, rocks and shoals scattered throughout the key trade route.
At a stroke, the court dismissed Beijing's 69-year-old nine-dash line claim to much of the South China Sea and removed any legal basis for Beijing to create a network of linked territorial and economic seas under its control, legal experts said.
Mischief is China's eastern most holding in the resource-rich waterway. Some 300 km (185 miles) west of the Philippines' island of Palawan and 1,100 km (685 miles) from China's Hainan Island, it sits entirely within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone and on its continental shelf.
The panel ruled China's building of installations on reclaimed land, which accelerated sharply after 2014, was illegal and had "aggravated" the dispute under the U.N Convention on the Law of the Sea, under which Manila launched the case in 2013.
The judges backed Philippines' lawyers who used satellite, survey and historical data, including Chinese naval pilot notes, to show Mischief Reef is - legally at least - nothing more than seabed exposed at low tide.
The lawyers gave evidence that its traditional Chinese name - Mi Qi Fu - was based on Mischief's English name, according to court transcripts, seeking to undermine China's argument that it had been, in its words, "master" of the South China Sea for 2,000 years. China calls it Meiji Reef today.
Regional military officials and diplomats say Mischief is a clear flashpoint in what is expected to be months of tension after the ruling.
Others include Scarborough Shoal, a traditional Philippine fishing ground that was occupied by China in 2012, and Second Thomas Shoal, where a small group of Philippine soldiers is based in the rusting hulk of a grounded ship.
The United States is also watching Mischief closely and has repeatedly warned China against further development of islands within the waters of the Philippines, a formal security ally.
U.S. Republican Senator Dan Sullivan demanded on Wednesday that U.S. ships sail close to Mischief as part of pledged increases in so-called freedom-of-navigation operations.
A U.S. defense official also told Reuters that, if regional competition escalated into confrontation, U.S. naval and air forces were prepared to act to maintain free navigation.
Manila is clear it doesn't want to provoke China further.
"They are a bit angry now," Philippines' Defence Minister Delfin Lorenzana told Reuters. "Emotions are running high and we don't want to provide them any reason to react violently."
(Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in BEIJING and Martin Petty in MANILA; Editing by Lincoln Feast)

Thứ Năm, 14 tháng 7, 2016

Yêu Cầu không dùng chữ Tàu trên Bản đồ

Yêu Cầu không dùng chữ Tàu trên Bản đồ  

tên đảo Woodland là Nansha và không dùng chữ Tàu cho một số đảo thuộc quần đảo Trường Sa (Spratly Islands) của Việt Nam Cộng Hòa

Toàn Văn Phán Quyết của Tòa Án Trung Gian Hòa Giải Le Hague July 12, 2016 về Vụ Kiện của Phi Luật Tân đối với Trung Cộng

Toàn văn này bằng Anh ngữ, nhưng ch’ng tôi sẽ cố gắng dịch sang Việt ngữ trong thời gian tới để người Việt Nam đọc hiểu.
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Hoàng Hoa

Thứ Tư, 13 tháng 7, 2016

What the South China Sea ruling means for the world

verdict delivered by an international court in The Hague sent geopolitical shock waves through Asia.
The panel of judges at the Permanent Court of Arbitration said China's exclusive claims to a vast swath of territory in the South China Sea had no historical or legal basis, siding with the Philippines in a case that Manila had brought to the court in 2013 over China's expansive moves into a number of disputed islands and shoals.
The South China Sea is one of the world's most strategic bodies of water and remains a vital conduit for a huge proportion of global shipping. But it's also now perhaps the most treacherous flash point in the world, with the overlapping claims of half a dozen Asian governments constantly creating regional friction.
In recent times, separate disputes between China and the Philippines and Vietnam have led to minor skirmishes and naval standoffs. China, as The Washington Post has documented over the past year, has steadily sought to change the facts on the ground (or on the waves) in its favor, establishing military bases and building up new islands in areas under its control. The United States, meanwhile,recently deployed aircraft carriers to the region, a somewhat striking move.
The Chinese have long claimed virtually the entire South China Sea and the barren rocks and islands within it as their sovereign territory. The court, though, ruled against the legitimacy of China's "nine-dash line" -- marked on the map below -- which Beijing routinely invokes as the demarcation of its historical claim over the sea.

Thứ Ba, 12 tháng 7, 2016

China rejects ruling on South China Sea as 'null and void'

GILLIAN WONG and GERRY SHIH,Associated Press 14 hours ago 

Why the United States Needs to Join UNCLOS

The United States should ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea(UNCLOS) in the wake of Manila’s victory over Beijing in The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) says one senior Democratic lawmaker. The United States—which acts as the guarantor of the liberal-institutional world order—is notably absent from the treaty—much to the chagrin of executive branch officials.
“I think this is also important to note today that there was one party notably absent during deliberations in this case: the United States.  As the United States is one of only a few countries that has not yet ratified the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, our representatives were not allowed to participate in the adjudication process,” Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee’s (HASC) Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee said in an emailed statement. “Undoubtedly, U.S. interests were not served by the rejection of our request to observe these proceedings. This ruling clearly demonstrates why our nation must finally ratify the Law of the Sea treaty, and I continue to call on the Senate to heed the advice experts and military leaders by approving this treaty without delay.”
Earlier this year in March, Courtney introduced a bipartisan resolution—H. Res. 631—alongside Rep. Don Young (R-AK) calling on the U.S. Senate to finally ratify the UNCLOS treaty. Indeed, many senior Defense Department officials have been privately pleading with lawmakers to ratify the treaty for years.
More recently, the Pentagon’s top military officer in charge of the Pacific suggested that the United States’ must ratify the treaty if the country is to have any credibility on the issue going forward. Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr., commander of United States Pacific Command, has said that not being a signatory to the UNCLOS opens the United States up to accusations of hypocrisy, it also has an economic impact as Washington cannot press its claim in the Arctic, for example.
“I’m a proponent of it [UNCLOS],” Harris testified before the HASC on Feb. 24. “I think that in the 21st century our moral standing is affected by the fact that we are not a signatory to UNCLOS.”