South China Sea dispute: China can learn from India, John Kerry hints

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China can learn from India how to abide by international tribunals’ judgments, hinted US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday in reference to the South China Sea dispute+.
Kerry was speaking to IIT Delhi students+ at an informal interaction on Wednesday when he was asked about the Sea dispute.
The US secretary of state said India stands apart as a law-abiding country, because in 2014, it accepted an international tribunal judgment – with regard to its maritime border with Bangladesh -similar to the South China Sea one. “India’s decision to accept an international tribunal judgment regarding its maritime border with Bangladesh actually stands apart. This is the model to help potentially dangerous disputes in different danger spots…these can be resolved peacefully including (the) South China Sea (dispute),” Kerry said.
He emphasized that there is no military solution to the dispute in the South China Sea and added though that the US will stand up for its allies. China has been fortifying some islands and building military capacity on some of the disputed islands around the sea despite a Hague tribunal earlier this year ruling that it has no claim to economic rights across large swathes of the South China Sea. A recalcitrant Beijing has thus far refused to accept the July judgment by the international arbitration tribunal.
Hague verdict on India-Bangladesh dispute.
Right before the South China Sea verdict, too, the US asked China to learn from India’s handling of its maritime disputes with its neighbours. “In 2014, the Permanent Court of Arbitration – the same court that will issue a ruling on the South China Sea next week – ruled against India in favour of Bangladesh+ in a three-decade-old maritime dispute,” said Abraham Denmark, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for East Asia at a Congressional hearing in early July.
“To India’s great credit, it accepted the decision and has abided by it, noting at the time that settlement of the issue would enhance mutual understanding and goodwill between the two countries. This is an example we would encourage China to follow,” the top Pentagon official said.
China, on the other hand, was furious with The Hague. It called some countries involved in the dispute “eunuch” and “paper tiger” and termed The Hague’s tribunal “illegal and ridiculous.
The US had said it hoped both China and the Philippines would comply with international law and with the tribunal’s decision as per the Law of the Sea Convention.
“As provided in the convention, the tribunal’s decision is final and legally binding on both China and the Philippines. The United States expresses its hope and expectation that both parties will comply with their obligations,” said the US
state department.
China said the US ignored the 1986 Hague order to pay reparations to Nicaragua for illegal acts there.
“On June 27, 1986, the ICJ (International Court of Justice) ruled that the US acts of laying mines in Nicaraguan ports violated UN conventions and the United States should stop its illegal acts and pay reparations to Nicaragua. But Washington refused to implement the ruling,” an article in July by China’s state-run Xinhua news agency said.

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