ASEAN Agrees to Disregard Hague Ruling in South Sea Code of Conduct

China's Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin speaks during a news conference in Beijing, July 13, 2016. China Daily/via

China’s Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin speaks during a news conference in Beijing, July 13, 2016. China Daily/via

In its report titled “China, ASEAN aim to complete framework of South China Sea rules next year”, Reuters quotes Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin as saying after the third meeting between China and ASEAN on a binding code of conduct, “It shows that as the situation in the South China Sea is getting more and more complicated, especially with the interference of external forces, ASEAN countries and China have realised that we have to grasp the key to the South China Sea issue in our own hand.”

Reuters says after the quote, “China has blamed the United States and its allies in the region, such as Japan and Australia, for stoking tension in the South China Sea,” as if the external forces Liu referred to were but the US, and its allies Japan and Australia.

Certainly, the US and its allies have to be excluded, but China does not regard that as achievement as they have always been excluded in the negotiation between China and ASEAN on the code. What Liu meant is the exclusion of the external interference by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague, i.e. in the negotiation the ruling of the court will be disregarded.

Disregarding the ruling is China’s bottom line. Any mention of the ruling in the code is unacceptable to China. I wonder whether the Philippines will accept such disregarding.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters report, full text of which can be viewed at


4 Comments on “ASEAN Agrees to Disregard Hague Ruling in South Sea Code of Conduct”

  1. Joseph says:

    The PCA fiasco turns out to be a pivotal event for ASEAN. For the first time since the Western colonization, the ASEAN can finally say no to Western powers. And Western bullies like the American cannot do anything since Asia now has true superpower. The American may try to dub ASEAN to do its dirty work against China, but instead the ASEAN uses American bias and bigotry against China to finally stand up behind China. It reminiscences the old days where Ming Dynasty Chengde Emperor assisted Sultanate of Malaka to vanquish Portuguese invaders from Malaya, where until demise of Ming Dynasty itself, no European powers dared to set their sight on Chinese Protectorates again.
    The American should have seen it coming. Just last year, the newly-elected Indonesian PresidenteJokowi revived the defunct Asia-Africa Conference as a symbol of anti Western imperialism. Quite an irony that in the first Asia-Africa Conference in 1955, the American CIA tried to assassinate Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai by setting bomb on the plane he was supposed to board, after losing the Korean War. Sixty years on, and the American is yet again on the run in SE Asia where China takes the lead, losing yet another conflict, the SCS. This time, it was the American who were paranoid that someone may set bomb on their planes. Well the American and its Western cronies got all the warnings of the mounting resentment in the region against them. They chose to ignore the warnings and instead create fictional ASEAN that suited them. They have only themselves to blame.


  2. Fre Okin says:

    PCA verdict is a disaster for Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia. Notice only Taiwan protest due to Taiping island is a rock with 12 NM ruling. The PCA verdict in effect make all of the Spratlys islands, rocks, shoals, reefs squatted on Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia 12 NM as well since they are all smaller than Taiping island. These countries dare not celebrate PCA ruling as they realise they actually lose since China can now send in her big fishing boats and fish all around their 12 NM. China can drill for oil/gas up to 12 NM as well. No wonder these countries say nothing and now agree with China PCA verdict should not ever be mentioned in the SCS Code of Conduct.

    The PCA verdict actually means Philippines shoot herself in her own foot. Since it is an archipelago, much like Natuna archipelago, the Outermost small islands that are rocks per PCA now define their Border, Sovereign outer limit. These smaller islands now deemed as rocks means China and any other countries can use this PCA ruling and have their fishing boats fish up to 12 NM of these rocks, on the side facing the international water, basically a 24 miles wide area per rock. Philippines cannot claim them to be 200 NM EEZ from say Palawan as there is no legal basis in UNCLOS which say 200 NM have to originate from a big island like Palawan.


    • James says:

      Reminds me of the saying “… careful what you wish for….” The instigators of this PCA nonsense are too smart by half. Brainless wits


  3. Steve says:

    President Duterte should celebrate and jump onto this new “ASEAN Arbitral Tribunal Award.” I believe Duterte and his administrative board has been looking at ways to dump the PCA ruling as initiated by Aquino & his gang of Alibaba Thieves, in order to save his fellow Filipinos and country from falling into an abyss of delusion and poverty.

    President Duterte should immediately use this new ASEAN Award as an excuse to dump the Aquino led Hague Arbitration ruling against China. This is a golden opportunity to open doors to new bilateral negotiations with China and ASEAN members. Duterte is a legal expert, hence a propitious opportunity to reduce the US led military influence in the Philippines.

    President Duterte and his cabinet should grab this golden opportunity with both their hands and bury Aquino’s stupidity on the PCA award and start afresh. Otherwise, I just cannot see how Philippines can advance further in it’s bilateral negotiations with China.

    The Huangyan Island within Philippines 200 nm maybe the sticking point, but history proves China is the rightful owner.