THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF A PERFECT POLICY
The UNCLOS supposedly has the ultimatum to govern the global-territorial policy for inter-country armistice, but recent events have contradicted this supposed all-abiding global supremacy. The Scarborough Shoal dispute somewhat poses itself as an argumentative testimony against the jurisdiction and power of the Law of the Seas; precisely because not all countries accustom the UNCLOS as their basis for territorial sovereignty and economic jurisdiction, possibly caused by the different sovereign beliefs each country possesses due to cultural and historical events that it has undergone. There is then a need to analyze the different bases for sovereignty of each country, prioritizing the countries involved in the recent and ongoing Scarborough Shoal Dispute in comparison with the policies of the UNCLOS; which would then reveal the juxtaposed grounds on sovereignty, giving a clear picture on what an all-abiding territorial law should cover in order to attain smooth territorial division and agreement. My goal would then be, not to formulate a newfound policy, but rather to state the newfound grounds that have been formed by the amalgamation of the multiple levels in the societal structure of each country, ranging from cultural bases to the implemented Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ). It is thus important to state the status quo of the current island dispute and the stand of each involved country, this would prove to be an important reference throughout the essay, for the policies of the each country would later be contrasted with these stands in order to formulate the terms an ideal policy would have to placate in order to attain global-territorial agreement. The main countries involved in the Scarborough Shoal dispute are China and the United States of America, involved through the medium of the Philippines, but since the essay seeks to analyze the dispute in terms of territoriality, we focus on China and Philippines and then later including the other involved countries. The Philippines is a signatory to the UNCLOS, which subjects it to the policies embedded in the Law, mainly the law referring to the Exclusive Economic Zone of the country. The Philippines uses the 200-mile perimeter Economic Zone as its basis of sovereignty for the Scarborough shoal, the islands lie marginally lie within the given zone, this would have been a valid enough reason for the settlement of the ownership of the islands. But, the delinquent lies with China’s basis for ownership of the islands was the nine-dash line based on historical claims: during the 1930’s China’s cartographers illegibly included the Scarborough Shoal in their mapping of the country – an ownership that would have claimed the country fifty years before the founding of the current UNCLOS, but the country, remains as an unofficially-owned and deserted island. In addition to the spoils is the fact that the Scarborough islands don’t lie within the Exclusive Economic Zone of China, but despite the country being signatory to the UNCLOS, it does not succumb to the Laws of the Sea, possibly because it thinks itself too big of an Economic tiger to be dragged down by something as harmless and peace-abiding as the UNCLOS – in short, China shows no intention of stopping until it gets what it wants; but of course a conclusion of such would be derogatory, but nonetheless possibly true. This accentuates and exemplifies the brittle pedestal at which the UN sits on; its own mantra of attaining global peace has become its very own weakness in maintaining global supremacy. The inability of the UN to enforce proper hierarchical alleviation and the allowance of China’s clear disruption of order shows the brittleness of the law and stresses the fact that the UNCLOS will remain ineffective and ambiguous for global-territorial agreement – useless, so to say. After having shown a meek exemplification of the jarring juxtaposed bases for sovereignty and the inability of...
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