In a one on one meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow. Wang Yi wants both nations have only one voice and should join hands to oppose “internationalizing” the South China Sea issue.
“Both China and Russia should stay on guard against abuses of mandatory arbitration,” Wang said yesterday.
Wang Yi explained that the Philippines abused the Arbitration mechanism under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) because it unilaterally initiated the proceedings without first exhausting diplomatic channels.
Therefore, China’s position rest on not to participate in the proceedings because the Tribunal also has no jurisdiction over China’s “territorial sovereignty over several maritime features in the South China Sea.” Wang Yi added.
However, the Hague Tribunal rejected China’s contentious saying that “China’s non-appearance in these proceedings does not deprive the Tribunal of jurisdiction,” and “the Tribunal held that the Philippines had sought to negotiate with China and … international law does not require a State to continue negotiations when it concludes that the possibility of a negotiated solution has been exhausted.”
A report after a meeting between Wang, Lavrov, and Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said all related disputes in the South China Sea ought to be tended to through negotiations and agreements between the parties concerned. Neither Russia nor India is claimants in the sea.
Observers said Wang’s remarks is an indication that China is confronting enormous political weight and diplomatic pressure, with more countries seeming to back the Philippines, and it was wanting to find support in Russia.
Analysts said Wang’s remarks were China’s method for tightening up in preparations for the court ruling in the disputed West Philippine Sea, which is expected in May or June. - Carl E.