Law-defying US in no position to criticize others

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/7/16 15:30:11

While pointing its finger at others in a most preposterous manner, the United States should look to itself.

The US State Department said earlier this week that the award issued by the South China Sea arbitration tribunal unilaterally initiated by the former Philippine government was binding on both parties and that the United States expected China and the Philippines both to comply with their obligations under it.

Long refusing to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the United States is in no position to talk about the convention's enforcement, and the country has set a bad example of law obedience -- there are plenty of cases of the United States defying international court rulings and international law.

Nicaragua vs the United States is a high-profile one.

In the 1980s, the United States mined Nicaragua's harbors, posing a severe threat to the country's security and navigation. In April 1984, Nicaragua filed an application instituting proceedings against the United States, demanding it cease military intervention in and against Nicaragua and offer reparation.

In January 1985, the United States announced that it intended not to participate in any further proceedings relating to the case.

In June 1986, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled in favor of Nicaragua, but the United States refused to enforce the judgement and vetoed a resolution calling for full and immediate compliance with the judgement in the U.N. Security Council.

The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, and its judgements are binding, final and without appeal. However, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the United States quitted the proceedings and abused its power within the UN system to prevent Nicaragua from seeking justice.

As China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said, the US side has always been selective when it comes to the application of international law; citing international law when it sees fit and discarding international law when it sees otherwise.

Between 1998 and 2004, the ICJ heard cases submitted by Germany and Mexico against the United States concerning foreign nationals who had been tried and convicted in the United States.

In both cases, the ICJ ruled that the United States had violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and should provide review and reconsideration of the sentences of the foreign nationals.

Again and again, the United States failed to comply.

With such an arrogant attitude toward international law, it's hypocritical at best for the United States to urge China to accept an ill-founded award issued by a five-person ad hoc tribunal outside the ICJ framework.

Before butting in on others' business, the United States should look itself in the mirror and review its own place in relation to law and order.

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Posted in: Americas

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