HK lawyer questions tribunal’s jurisdiction over South China Sea case

A Hong Kong lawyer says the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague has no jurisdiction over South China Sea disputes between China and the Philippines, which unilaterally filed an arbitration case.

Chairperson of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Center (HKIAC) Teresa Cheng made the remarks during a media briefing on Monday.

Cheng says the sovereignty and territorial disputes are not under the jurisdiction of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Cheng said China has made related declaration excluding disputes concerning the above issues.

SOUNDBITE (CANTONESE): TERESA CHENG, Chairperson, HK International Arbitration Centre
“In 2006, China declared to exclude disputes concerning maritime delimitation from mandatory dispute settlement procedures. Some big countries in the UN, including Britain, France and Russia have also made similar declarations. The U.S. is one of the five permanent UN Security Council members. But it is even not a signatory to the convention. So it naturally did not have to make such declarations.”

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