China taunts RP, US on maritime ruling

China thumbed its nose on its rivals at the South China Sea dispute saying that despite the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling that largely favored the Philippines, nothing had changed in the contested area.

One of China's English mouthpiece Global Times said the South China sea has kept its tranquility one week after the arbitration award was issued.

"China is continuing with its island construction activities. It has conducted trial test flights at two newly established airports in the Nansha Islands and carried out a combat air patrol over Huangyan Island. On Wednesday, eight Taiwanese lawmakers visited Taiping Island in a move to reassert sovereignty," it said.

"Despite all this, there has yet to be any strong backlash by the US, Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam. The arbitration result, which is merely a piece of paper, failed to yield any actual effects," it noted.

The opinion article, however, said the US and Japan have engaged in some petty tricks.

"US Vice President Joe Biden has won over endorsement of the arbitration result from his Australian host during a recent visit. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tried to make an issue of the award at the just concluded Asia-Europe Meeting, to no avail," it said.

It added that in a statement on its official website, the Vietnamese government denied that Vietnam's top leader agreed on China's position on the South China Sea arbitration award.

Foreign Affairs secretary Perfecto Yasay said last Tuesday, the government has turned down a Chinese proposal to start bilateral talks on the South China Sea dispute because of Beijing's pre-condition of not discussing the arbitration result.

"The stance of Vietnam and the Philippines is not unexpected, nor is it provocative. This is not an indication that the pressure on China over the South China Sea is mounting. Other external powers, save the US and Japan, have no interest in stirring up the South China Sea arbitration. The US interferes in the South China Sea out of its hegemonic ambitions, while Japan can't accept a rising China," it added.

"Even though (Vietnam and the Philippines) are unwilling to admit it's (PCA Award) just a piece of paper, they understand the award is only an illusion created by the US and Japan. They also clearly know that the US and Japan use them as pawns. Solving disputes through peace talks falls in line with their genuine interests," it said.

"The US presidential campaign is in full swing. Will President Barack Obama take the plunge of a showdown with China in the South China Sea? Probably not. China believes the US can abide by the bottom line of rationality. Democracy is supposed to prevent silly decisions. But it's believed the Chinese government will make contingency plans," the article added.

China warns GOP

China also warned the Donald Trump-fronted US Republican Party against making "groundless accusations" after it accused Beijing of cultural genocide and said its economy was based on piracy.

The GOP (Grand Old Party) said in its 2016 platform that Beijing made "a preposterous claim to the entire South China Sea", adding that "cultural genocide continues" in the regions of Tibet and Xinjiang.

"The currency is manipulated, our technology is stolen and intellectual property and copyrights are mocked in an economy based on piracy," it added.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang called on the party to "stop their groundless accusations against China and interference in China's domestic affairs", in a statement carried by the official Xinhua news agency.

"All political parties in the United States should view China's development in an objective and rational manner," he added, in Beijing's first comments on the Republican Party since Donald Trump's nomination as its presidential candidate on Wednesday.

Source: Tribune