BEIJING, July 27 (ChinaMil) -- During the ASEAN-China Ministerial Meeting held in Vientiane, the capital city of Laos, ASEAN member states and China released positive signals about the South China Sea issue.
After the temporary arbitral tribunal announced the so-called award, which was filled with loopholes, on the South China Sea arbitration unilaterally initiated by the Philippines, we have a new opportunity to set things right on the South China Sea issue.
Maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea is in the primary interests of China, ASEAN countries and the international community, but certain forces outside the region seem unwilling to see a peaceful and stable South China Sea.
They don't want the so-called arbitration that they have carefully manipulated to be spurned upon by people who have seen through their plot, or the illegal arbitration award to become a piece of wastepaper.
Having failed in their attempt to pit ASEAN against China, foreign ministers of the United States, Japan and Australia hurriedly held a "ministerial strategic dialogue" in Vientiane and issued a joint statement demanding, out of all reason, China to "comply with" the illegal award made by the temporary arbitral tribunal.
They seemed to take themselves as the "teachers" of international laws including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
But what's the fact?
There is no need to elaborate on the United States, which takes itself as an "exception" to international law under the hegemonistic mindset of "America first". The fact that it hasn't approved the UNCLOS till today speaks for itself.
Japan is a "speculator" of international law. When the International Court of Justice ruled Japan's commercial whale hunting as illegal, it claimed it was "doing research"; when the temporary arbitral tribunal of South China Sea arbitration unilaterally initiated by the Philippines degraded Taiping Island from an island to a "reef", Japan, which had claimed to support the so-called award, asserted that the Okinotorishima reef, which is the size of a tatami, is an island.
When U.S. vessels "infringed upon the South China Sea freely", Japan was rooting for it, but when ships from third countries passed international straits like Tokara Strait, it hit the roof, and while Japanese politicians were preaching about "rule of law" on international occasions, they were challenging their own Constitution and the post-war order within the country.
When Australia followed in the steps of the U.S. and Japan, it seemed to forget that its dispute with East Timor over maritime boundary and rights and interests was a typical case of "a big and strong power bullying a small and weak one" in the international history of "rule of law on the sea".
When East Timor became an independent nation in 2002, Australia forced it to sign the Timor Sea Treaty on the very day of independence, trying to maintain the maritime boundary that it delimited with Indonesia 30 years ago.
Waving an iron hand in a velvet glove, Australia forced East Timor to sign the Treaty between the Government of Australia and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea in 2006, based on which it refused East Timor's request to solve their maritime boundary dispute through negotiation or judicial approach.
After East Timor filed for arbitration in 2013 regarding the validity of the Treaty on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea, Australia assigned special agents to break into the office of East Timor's legal representative in Australia, confiscated all files of the arbitration case, and detained passports of the Australians who were to testify for East Timor.
Even after East Timor sued Australia to the International Court of Justice for its actions, Australia continued to pressure it into withdrawing the case.
It's only too obvious that what the United States, Japan and Australia did about the South China Sea issue had nothing to do with international law or justice. They only cared about their own interests, and they are forming a "trouble making alliance" in the South China Sea and a "slandering alliance" against China.
China and other countries along the South China Sea have enjoyed peaceful co-existence and friendly exchanges for more than 1,000 years. China and all other concerned parties have the resolve, patience and wisdom to properly deal with and solve the South China Sea issue without backseat drivers, hypocrites practicing double standards, or trouble makers with ulterior motives.
In the joint declaration issued by foreign ministers of China and ASEAN countries, all parties pledged to settle territorial and jurisdiction disputes peacefully through friendly consultations and negotiations between directly concerned sovereign nations under the framework of international laws including the UNCLOS.
That was the best counterattack against the US-Japan-Australia "trouble making alliance".