Australian envoy to India publicly reminds Chinese envoy of South China Sea award

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New Delhi: In a public spat on social media, Australian envoy to India Barry O’Farrell publicly reminded the Chinese envoy to India Sun Weidong of the 2016 South China sea award by Permanent Court of Arbitration that was rejected by Beijing. 

The case between Philippines v. china was dominated in favour of the Philippines with the tribunal ruling that China has “no historical rights” within the south China sea primarily based on the “nine-dash line” map.

The Australian envoy Barry O’Farrell Tweeted, “Thank you @China_Amb_India . I would hope then you follow the 2016 South China Sea Arbitral Award which is final and binding under international law, and also generally refrain from actions that unilaterally alter the status quo.”

The tweet by Envoy Barry was in response to Chinese envoy Sun Weidong tweeting, “Noted remarks by Australian HC to India on #SouthChinaSea disregarding facts. #China’s territorial sovereignty & maritime rights&interests are in conformity w/ int’l law incl UNCLOS. It’s clear who safeguard peace&stability & who destablize&provoke escalation in the region.”

The Australian envoy on Thursday had stated, “Australia remains deeply concerned by actions in the South China Sea that are destabilising and could provoke escalation.”

The Tweet by Australian envoy acquired lot of traction on Twitter and was retweeted over 2000 instances whereas Chinese envoy’s tweet was retweeted simply round 100 instances. 

The Chinese envoy had once more responded to Australian envoy’s tweet saying, “So-called arbitral tribunal of #SouthChinaSea violated principle of state consent. The award is illegal,null&void&has no binding force. China neither accepts nor recognizes it. We hope those non-claimant countries could contribute to regional peace&stability rather than contrary.”

On 23 July, Australia lodged a notice with the UN Secretary-General refuting China’s illegal maritime claims within the South China Sea.