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Yu Mincai: The South China Sea dispute and the Philippines Arbitration Tribunal: China's policy options


The Philippines Arbitration Tribunal separately dealing with the jurisdiction over the South China Sea dispute is the continuance of the set practice by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,s Annex VII arbitral tribunals of bifurcation of proceedings, and was the best option for it to deal with China,s objections to its jurisdiction in the circumstance of China,s non-acceptance of and non-participation in the arbitral proceedings. Such a measure has potentially important implications for the tribunal itself and for China. The tribunal,s decision to have jurisdiction over some parts of the Philippines submissions resumed the merits proceedings of the dispute. This development of the proceedings would force China to reconsider its current policy of non-participation. Participation in the subsequent merits proceedings might be the right choice for China.

Keywords: China,s participation jurisdiction Philippines Arbitration Tribunal South China Sea dispute United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

Form: Australian Journal of International AffairsVolume 70, Issue 3, 2016pages 215-234

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