Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne has affirmed Australia’s position which is guided by principled support for international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
A Vietnamese vessel in the East Sea (Photo: VNA)
In a statement regarding the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), which is based in The Hague (the Netherlands) on July 12, 2016, on disputes in the East Sea, Payne stated that the 1982 UNCLOS sets out the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out.
“It contains clear rules that apply to all countries for maritime claims, the lawful uses of maritime spaces, including freedom of navigation and overflight, and the peaceful resolution of disputes,” the statement wrote.
The Australian Government has consistently called on the parties to the arbitration to abide by the Tribunal’s decision.
Payne stated that the PCA’s ruling found that China’s claim to ‘historic rights’ or ‘maritime rights and interests’ established in the ‘long course of historical practice’ in the East Sea, internationally known as the South China Sea, were inconsistent with the 1982 UNCLOS and, to the extent of that inconsistency, invalid.
Adherence to international law is fundamental to the continuing peace, prosperity and stability of the region, she said, adding that it allows all states – big and small – to resolve disputes peacefully.
The minister pledged that Australia will continue to support the right of all countries to seek to resolve disputes peacefully and in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS./.