Philippine officials’ ‘crimes against humanity’ case against China rejected by international court

President Duterte joins Chinese President Xi Jinping as his special guest (inset) during the opening ceremony of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 at the National Aquatics Center in Beijing the other night. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

THE HAGUE, Dec 6, 2019, SCMP. The International Criminal Court has ruled it has no jurisdiction over a case filed by two former Philippine officials alleging China committed “crimes against humanity” in pursuing its vast claims in the South China Sea, a report from the court showed on Thursday, South China Morning Post reported.

In its “Report on Preliminary Examination Activities 2019”, the court based in The Hague said it lacks “territorial and personal jurisdiction” to tackle the case, reasoning that the purported crimes happened outside Philippine territory.

“The information available confirms that the alleged conduct in question occurred in areas that are outside of the Philippines’ territorial sea”, the report said, adding that maritime zones outside a country’s territorial sea are not considered part of its territory.

The case was filed before the court on March 21 by former Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and former corruption court Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.

They accused China of excluding Philippine nationals from making use of the resources in parts of the South China Sea, such as blocking Filipino fishermen’s access to traditional fishing grounds at Scarborough Shoal, while also engaging in massive illegal reclamation and artificial island-building in the Spratly Islands, causing significant damage to the marine life in the area.

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