Five years after an international tribunal declared China’s nine-dash line claims in the South China Sea legally invalid, leaders of several countries have issued a statement calling on all sides to comply with the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)’s ruling.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the rules-based maritime order is under great threat in the South China Sea and accused China of continuing to coerce and intimidate Southeast Asian coastal states.
The Canadian government is concerned by China's escalating actions and urges countries to abide by the commitments they made in the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), show restraint, and refrain from unilateral actions.
Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu said the Tribunal’s award is final and legally binding on the parties to the dispute under UNCLOS provisions, adding that the parties to this case, the Philippines and China, are required to comply with the award.
He said the claim by China that it will not accept the award is against the principle of peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law, in particular UNCLOS, and undermines the rule of law as a fundamental value of the international community. Japan strongly hopes that compliance with the award will lead to the peaceful settlement of disputes in the South China Sea.
Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne said Australia has consistently called on the parties to the arbitration to abide by the Tribunal’s decision. Adherence to international law is fundamental to the continuing peace, prosperity and stability of the region, she said, adding that it allows all states – big and small – to resolve disputes peacefully.