By: Elena Grace Flores
Until now, 3 weeks after the ruling at the Hague denying China with territorial rights over the West Philippines Sea in the South China Sea, the Chinese are still bitter with the outcome and cannot accept the ruling. They have published misleading news in their state-run media that they were victorious after all because no entity can make them follow the ruling.
In fact, they dealt with Australia aggressively after the latter called on China to respect international law. This was after China claimed that American news reports perceived as US strategy in response to the arbitration ruling failed. As observed in Beijing and Washington, China managed to manipulate high level summit in its favor.
This was evident in the ASEAN summit in Laos, which which could be a chance for south-east Asian nations to respond to the international court ruling – but four of the six nations have territorial claims in the South China Sea while another member, Indonesia, has been involved in confrontations with Chinese fishermen that is increasingly became tense. Therefore, they opted not to include the ruling in the agenda to avoid conflicts.
Beijing divided ASEAN by ensuring countries reliant on China’s financial support in the forms of loans and aids, like Cambodia, veto anything that hurt China’s interests.
In an extraordinarily bitter attack, the Communist Party’s unofficial jingoistic tabloid Global Times penned a lead editorial denouncing Australia as a “paper cat” with an “inglorious history” that is often mocked by others. Belittling the country down under. China perceived all calls from Australia, the US and Japan as failure because there’s no way that they will comply with the ruling. The attacked was directly addressed to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop by the Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang.
There was even a well-organised protest in Melbourne from the Chinese community, urging Australia to back China’s rejection of the ruling. Comments via social media even called Chinese tourists to boycott Australia.
Rich in natural resources and a quarter of global navigational access, the South China Sea is becoming the center of several territorial disputes that threaten world peace.