07 March 2014
In an article published on Feb 28, retired naval captain Raul Pedrozo wrote that a proposal for China to base its claims on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea would not contribute to peace in the region. Below is a rejoinder to Professor Pedrozo’s piece.
IN HIS response to our joint commentary, published in these pages on Feb 18, Professor Raul “Pete” Pedrozo of the United States Naval War College gives six reasons why our proposal “will not work”.
The first two points raised are the assertion that China has no legitimate claim to sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea, and that our proposal “rewards Beijing for its illegal occupation of the Paracel and Spratly islands”.
We intentionally left issues of territorial sovereignty out of our proposed formula for a paradigm shift in the South China Sea disputes. Thus, we did not address the merits of China’s claim (or those of any other claimant state) to sovereignty over any disputed islands in the South China Sea. Nor did we suggest that any of the other claimants should acquiesce to China’s claim to sovereignty over the islands.
… Robert C. Beckman is the director of the Centre for International Law at the National University of Singapore and an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies(RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. Professor Clive Schofield is the director of research at the Australian Centre for Ocean Resource and Security, University of Wollongong, Australia.
This article first appeared in RSIS Commentaries.
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