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Should the US ratify UNCLOS –Law of the Sea?

Should the US ratify UNCLOS –Law of the Sea?


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JANFU

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Should the US ratify UNCLOS –Law of the Sea?
The US criticizes China for not adhering to a treaty that the US refuses to sign.

Yes
No
Other- Pls explain
Unsure

Overview - Convention & Related Agreements

Harvard National Security Journal ? Why the US Should Ratify UNCLOS: A View from the South and East China Seas

III. UNCLOS in the South and East China Seas

One of the most important reasons for ratification, perhaps least discussed in popular media, is UNCLOS’ pivotal role in mediating territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas. Territorial disputes between China and its neighbors implicate most of Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan. Chief among them are contested claims to the Parcel Islands (Vietnam), Scarborough Shoals (Philippines), and widespread disagreement over the legitimacy of China’s claims to great swaths of the South China Sea through the 9-dash line. Moreover, there has been little progress in resolving these disputes through bilateral U.S. – China negotiations, including the Strategic and Economic Dialogue. Scholars have cited UNCLOS as a potential mechanism for mitigating these issues in House Foreign Affairs Committee and Armed Services Subcommittee on Sea Power briefings, among others. Ratifying UNCLOS is essential to American regional interests for four reasons.

First, the U.S. has repeatedly emphasized that territorial disputes should be addressed multilaterally and has repudiated efforts, led by the Chinese, to address problems with individual Southeast Asian nations. As pointed out by the Center for New American Security, however, American arguments in favor of multilateralism are “robbed of moral authority” when the U.S. refuse to support the most comprehensive mechanism for multilateral resolution of maritime disputes. By not ratifying UNCLOS, American arguments regarding the region’s most complex issues are all too easily left open to rhetorical attack by those opposed to multilateralism. More importantly, it betrays a dangerous ambiguity about America’s commitment to opposing unilateral solutions.

(Almost) Everyone Agrees: The U.S. Should Ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty - The Atlantic

It is high time the United States joined 162 other states and the European Union in becoming party to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)--thirty years after the Reagan administration first negotiated the treaty.

On May 23, the White House dispatched its big guns to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where Senator Kerry is holding hearings on UNCLOS. The message from Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, was unequivocal: Acceding to the treaty is profoundly in the U.S. national interest.

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea: Why the U.S. Hasn’t Ratified It and Where It Stands Today | Travaux: The Berkeley Journal of International Law Blog

Opposition to UNCLOS

Despite its popularity, some critics argue that UNCLOS is seriously flawed and would detract from U.S. interests by ceding sovereignty to international organizations and tribunals. They argue that UNCLOS is unnecessary since customary international law and other agreements already provide the legal bases for international maritime law. For instance, these agreements already grant Navy ships the freedom to navigate on the high seas and no state has or would attempt to block passage of a US vessel through their waters, both because of US naval supremacy and because they want reciprocal rights to sail through our seas. So ratifying the treaty would merely signal to other nations that the US can only secure its rights on the international stage by appealing to institutions favored by the rest of the world, thereby diminishing US sovereignty.

Critics also argue that the US should not bind itself to international bureaucracies, such as the International Seabed Authority (ISA) created by UNCLOS to regulate mining activities on the deep seabed beyond the jurisdiction of any country. These bureaucracies are often wasteful and hostile to US interests, and the ISA is particularly threatening since there is no veto for the U.S. Thus the ISA Assembly could potentially amend the treaty without the consent of the U.S.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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Honestly, while things like this would be nice, they don't matter.
I say this because if a nation decides that the international body is wrong or they don't care about the ruling, said nation can just ignore it.

It would be great if everyone followed it, but these international bodies can not enforce these laws.
 

JANFU

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Honestly, while things like this would be nice, they don't matter.
I say this because if a nation decides that the international body is wrong or they don't care about the ruling, said nation can just ignore it.

It would be great if everyone followed it, but these international bodies can not enforce these laws.
The US ignored the mining of Nicaragua's harbors and paid a steep political price.
The same will apply to China.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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The US ignored the mining of Nicaragua's harbors and paid a steep political price.
The same will apply to China.

That seems to be a better enforcement/punitive mechanism than anything the international courts could do.
Again, it's not that I necessarily disagree with it, but there's not a lot they can do to enforce it.

Zimbabwe is a good example, some of the White farmers won their cases against the government in international court, but it didn't matter.
They still lost in real life.
 

JANFU

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That seems to be a better enforcement/punitive mechanism than anything the international courts could do.
Again, it's not that I necessarily disagree with it, but there's not a lot they can do to enforce it.

Zimbabwe is a good example, some of the White farmers won their cases against the government in international court, but it didn't matter.
They still lost in real life.

True enough. But from what I understand 95 % rulings under this treaty have been accepted. What the others were I do not know.
That said- China is in a diplomatic box of their own making. Will they accept the rule of law or not?
Will the rise of China be peaceful or will they use/threaten the use of force?
1 reason why India moved most of their Naval assets to the east side of India & closer to China.
They still have boundary disputes that are hot button issues for both countries.
 

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True enough. But from what I understand 95 % rulings under this treaty have been accepted. What the others were I do not know.
That said- China is in a diplomatic box of their own making. Will they accept the rule of law or not?
Will the rise of China be peaceful or will they use/threaten the use of force?
1 reason why India moved most of their Naval assets to the east side of India & closer to China.
They still have boundary disputes that are hot button issues for both countries.

By and large China can't afford to start a war with anyone.
On paper they can, but in reality, they're boxed in, as few like their size and power.

If they did, there would likely be an international coalition to cut them down in size to create a multi state area, over the single state.
 

JANFU

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By and large China can't afford to start a war with anyone.
On paper they can, but in reality, they're boxed in, as few like their size and power.

If they did, there would likely be an international coalition to cut them down in size to create a multi state area, over the single state.
Wait 20 years.As to a coalition, who? NATO would not even go there.
 

JANFU

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Well it depends on the situation.
But with countries like Japan, India, Russian perhaps.

They'd be incredibly stupid to poke those too hard.

Australia would be another.
The Chinese people have been fed the line of a Century of shame. The present leadership has been stoking the flames of Nationalism for years. Just another part of the box they are in.
 

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We should leave the UN and invite the UN to leave the U.S. They would be happier in Cuba.
 

JANFU

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We should leave the UN and invite the UN to leave the U.S. They would be happier in Cuba.
Kind of difficult for the US to condemn China while not a signatory to the Treaty. On not signing the treaty the US is making a dumb move.
 
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