Retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio has called on the international community to oppose China’s new coast guard law, which he described as “an actual threat of force of fishing vessels of all states” in the South China Sea.
The new law, which took effect in February, authorizes the Chinese coast guard to fire at other countries’ ships that fish or conduct economic activities in waters claimed by Beijing, even if these are situated beyond China’s territorial sea, exclusive economic zone, or extended continental shelf.
“China’s new coast guard law is definitely a great threat to the continuance of the law of the sea and a great threat to world peace. The world must therefore resolutely oppose China’s new coast guard law and seek its invalidation before relevant international tribunals,” Carpio said.
He said the new law should be invalidated before relevant international courts as it violates the United Nations Charter and the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas.
China has rejected a 2016 UN ruling invalidating its massive claim over 90 percent of the SCS.
“This Philippine EEZ can no longer be disputed by China. However, under its new law, China’s Coast Guard can now fire at Philippine ships that conduct surveys in the Reed Bank or Philippine vessels that fish within this Philippine EEZ. This threat of force against Philippine vessels is even a more blatant violation of the UN Charter and UNCLOS,” Carpio said.