South China Sea dispute: Who pays legal costs?


Not China.


The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, Netherlands, has ruled that China’s claims of historical rights over South China Sea (SCS) has no legal basis. The case against China was initiated by the Philippines. (The Hindu, July 12, 2016).


PCA’s report (pdf) notes that the Philippines was forced to pay China’s share of the legal costs:

Article 33 of the Rules of Procedure states that the PCA may from time to time request the Parties to deposit equal amounts as advances for the costs of the arbitration. Should either Party fail to make the requested deposit within 45 days, the Tribunal may so inform the Parties in order that one of them may make the payment. The Parties have been requested to make payments toward the deposit on three occasions. While the Philippines paid its share of the deposit within the time limit granted on each occasion, China has made no payments toward the deposit. Having been informed of China’s failure to pay, the Philippines paid China’s share of the deposit.


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