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Parliamentary questions
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21 June 2017
Question for written answer E-004125-17
to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)
Rule 130
Charles Tannock (ECR)

 Subject:  VP/HR — South China Sea — Permanent Court of Arbitration
 Answer in writing 

In July 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in favour of the Philippines in the Philippines vs China arbitration of the Scarborough Shoal dispute. Beijing, resistant throughout the proceedings, outwardly rejected the result of the arbitration court and has since refused to act in accordance with any of its verdicts.

China continues to be hostile to any comment or intervention by the international community, claiming that issues in the South China Sea are only relevant to the countries in its proximity. Given the strategic importance of the area, which constitutes approximately one third of the world’s most popular shipping routes, such a stance is clearly at odds with China’s wider claims to support an international order based on cooperation and international law.

In view of the above, I ask the VP/HR:
1. What steps is the EU taking to contribute to de-escalation efforts in the South China Sea region?
2. What future steps will the EU support in a bid to strengthen international law and arbitration while maintaining its position of neutrality on China’s rejection of the arbitration court’s official decision?
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