- China is expected to be rebuked by several Asian and European countries in the upcoming Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem)
- The cause of the expected rebuke is China’s decision to reject the tribunal ruling about its South China Sea claims
- The representatives of Philippines, Vietnam and Tokyo have already stated their plan to urge the participating countries to learn how to respect the rule of law
After vehemently rejecting the ruling a UN-backed tribunal regarding the South China Sea claims, China will be facing rebuke from Asian and European leaders at the biennial Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem) on Friday.
The Asem, in its 20th anniversary, is supposed to be an event for boosting cooperation and strengthening the economy, aviation, peace and other aspects among Asian and European countries.
However, this year’s event to be held in Mongolia is the first major international meeting since the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague released its verdict on the case filed by the Philippines against China.
According to the ruling released on Tuesday, China’s claims over 90% of the South China Sea is illegal and invalid. The ruling also accused the Asian giant of destroying coral reefs in the disputed waters.
Beijing, which did not attend the hearings, claim that the arbitral tribunal has no jurisdiction over the matter and that only the involved parties should be settling the issue.
The Philippines’ Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay will raise the issue during the meeting. He is planning to talk about maintaining peace and giving respect to the PCA ruling.
For Vietnam, – which also has a territorial dispute with China – foreign minister Pham Binh Minh said that the Vietnamese government welcomes the tribunal verdict. Analysts say that Vietnam may benefit from the PCA ruling.
Japan – also embroiled in another territorial dispute with China – said that it would also raise discussion about reaching peaceful resolutions by following the rule of international law. Japan is also planning to take the opportunity to showcase its global projects such as the One Belt, One Road program – an ambitious initiative to build several infrastructure projects across Europe and Asia.
Speaking for Beijing, Chinese assistant foreign minister Kong Xuanyou commented that the Asem should not be used by the other countries to talk about the historic South China Sea ruling from the PCA. - Kami Media