In order to grant the Philippines a favorable ruling, the Permanent Court of Arbitration classified all islands in the South China Sea as “reefs” (“U.S., allies watch for challenge from China on court ruling over sea claims,” Web, July 12). It even classified Taiping Island as a “reef.” Taiping Island, with an area of 0.51 square kilometers, is the largest naturally formed island in the Nansha Islands. It can sustain human habitation and an economic life of its own, and meets the criteria of an island as defined in Article 121 of UNCLOS. This ruling ignores reality, has zero credibility and does Taiwan a gross injustice.
Taiwan is also a claimant in the South China Sea. However, during the arbitration process the tribunal neither consulted with nor invited Taiwan to participate in the case. Sea-claims ruling biased
The five judges referred to Taiwan as “Taiwan Authority of China,” an inappropriate designation that is demeaning to the status of Taiwan as a sovereign state. This decision severely undermines Taiwan’s sovereignty. The tribunal ignored facts, revealed its bias and demonstrated its obtuseness. It is categorically unacceptable to Taipei. Its myopia is certain to provoke even more disputes in the South China Sea.
Advisory commissioner, Overseas Community Affairs Council of Republic of China (Taiwan) in the United States
Potomac Falls, Va.