Canadian legislators back diplomatic solution to East Sea dispute

Victor Oh, a Canadian senator, encouraged all parties to come together to find a diplomatic solution to the overlapping claims in the East Sea in a statement from Ottawa on July 14. 

Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the  Spratly (Truong Sa) Islands in the East Sea
He made the statement following the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, the Netherlands against China’s “nine-dash” claims over most of the East Sea. 

He said the PCA delivered its final ruling for the case; however “a lasting solution to the long-lasting issue is not yet in sight”. 

Oh expressed his concern over the rising tensions in the East Sea which have the potential to undermine regional peace and stability in the region. 

The senator also urged all parties to come together to find a diplomatic solution to the overlapping claims in the sea. “Although this objective may seem difficult to achieve, it is not impossible,” he noted. 

“A sustained commitment to peaceful negotiations and cooperation from all parties, through bilateral and multilateral approaches, can lead to a mutually acceptable resolution to this dispute,” he said. “I therefore urge all parties to engage in an amicable and open dialogue towards this goal for the benefit of the countries involved and the entire global community.” 

Another Canadian Senator, Tobias C. Enverga Jr., from Toronto also issued a statement on July 12 welcoming the PCA’s unanimous ruling.

“It is a clear statement by the international community that the People’s Republic of China’s claim does not hold up to closer scrutiny and that it is attempting to coerce the smaller nations in the region by using its military and economic might,” Enverga said. 

“I urge the Canadian government to do everything in its power to ensure that all parties comply with agreed upon international conventions and demand that the People’s Republic of China comply with its obligations under the Convention, which the country ratified in 1996,” he added. 

The tribunal declared on July 12 that China’s claim to “historic rights” over waters within its “nine-dash line” is contrary to the UNCLOS. 

It said China has caused permanent and irreparable harm to the coral reef ecosystem at the Spratly (Truong Sa) archipelago, and that it also has no historic title over waters of the East Sea. 


The Hague Tribunal also finds no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the nine-dash line, and that China has interfered with traditional Philippine fishing rights at Scarborough Shoal.

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