Dao inhabits people’s hearts: Tribunal’s dangerous precedent in international law !


Political manipulation violates combined concept of fairness, justice, rule, trend and direction.

ON July 12, the award on the South China Sea arbitration came out. This political anti-China farce in the disguise of law, manipulated by the United States, and acted by the former Philippine Government, eventually came to an awful end.

This award caused a storm of questions and negative comments in the international community. A lot of professionals are shocked, not to speak of how ridiculous it is to define Taiping Island as a “reef”.

As Professor Tom Zwart from the Netherlands said, “In the region (East Asia), the award will be widely regarded as the fruit of a poisonous tree, and it will fail, therefore, to garner the necessary support.”

Abraham Sofaer, former legal advisor to the US State Department, also pointed out that the arbitration had brought a lot of difficulties and anxiety, which were not good for any parties.

The US attempted to smear and “isolate” China with the arbitration, but unexpectedly received little response. China’s position of non-acceptance of and non-participation in the arbitration has won more and more support.

Even the Philippine people realised that the arbitration is a total conspiracy of the US for its own agenda. This proves again the age old saying, “a just cause enjoys abundant support while an unjust cause finds little support”.

Dao, a combined concept of fairness, justice, rule, trend and direction, and derived from ancient Chinese philosophy, inhabits people’s hearts. The Dao of the present world lies in peace, development and winwin cooperation, and the Dao of solving international disputes lies in fair, lawful and peaceful solutions. On the premise of peaceful settlement, international law provides the right of every state to choose the means of dispute settlement, which should be based on consent, used in good faith and in the spirit of cooperation.

China persists unswervingly in pursuing an independent foreign policy of peace; advocates the awareness about human common destiny; and opposes the Cold War mindset and zero-sum games, and the bullying of the weak by the strong.

China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion. With regard to territorial issues and maritime delimitation disputes, China adheres to settlement through amicable consultation and negotiation by directly concerned countries, and does not accept any means of third-party dispute settlement or any solution imposed on it.

The violation of Dao by the US lies in its “imperialist mindset” and pursuit of hegemony. After World War II, the US global strategy has always been seeking the “leadership of the world”.

In 2009, the Obama administration launched the Asia Pacific Rebalance Strategy, and took the South China Sea issue as the pivot to maintain its regional hegemony and achieve strategic containment of China.

It is obvious that during the whole process of the arbitration unilaterally initiated and pushed by the Aquino III administration, the US was deeply involved in every step. Although alleging “neutrality and non-involvement”, the US manipulated behind the scene, and tried to forge a “coalition” to hype up the issue, resulting in rise of tension in the South China Sea.

The US always regards itself as “judge of the world”, but history and reality have repeatedly shown that the US has always adopted double standards. In the eyes of the US, international law is only applicable to other countries rather than itself. It only applies the law when it is consistent with its own interest and resolutely abandons it otherwise.

For instance, while advocating “the rule of law on the sea”, it has not acceded to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

While insisting that China must accept the arbitration award, it chooses to forget the Nicaragua case in which it not only withdrew from the proceedings and refused to implement the ruling, but also revoked the declaration of accepting the compulsory jurisdiction by the International Court of Justice. While opposing militarisation in the South China Sea, it has been provocatively dispatching military aircraft and warships into the area, and even deploying aircraft carrier fleets to this region.

More and more countries have found out who is the biggest “trouble-maker” in the world. It is the US intervention that makes the world worse. Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya have all fallen into its trap and are left with mess in the region. As the new Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte frankly said, the root of the bloodshed in Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries lies in the intervention of the US.

Furthermore, just prior to the arbitration award, the UK Iraq Inquiry published its report, stating that the decision of the US and UK to start the Iraq War was based on “flawed” intelligence. Under such circumstance, who will follow such a “leader of the world”?

The violation of Dao by the former government of the Philippines lies in breaching previous commitment and causing a lot of trouble in the shelter of a superpower.

The Philippines and China had been friendly neighbours over a long history. However, in recent years, the bilateral ties were damaged by the Philippine policy of confrontation, especially the unilateral arbitration claim.

The government of Aquino III willingly acted as the pawn of the US Rebalance Strategy and took the road to confront China. It deliberately provoked the Huangyan Island (Scarborough Shoal) incident, unilaterally initiated and pushed the arbitration, and tried to hijack other Asean countries to smear China and benefit from the unlawful arbitration award. Its intention is vicious, and its action illegal.

First, although fully aware that territorial issues are not subject to UNCLOS and that maritime delimitation disputes have been excluded from the UNCLOS compulsory dispute settlement procedures by China, the Philippines deliberately packaged the disputes as mere issues concerning the interpretation or application of UNCLOS.

Second, the arbitration infringes upon China’s right to choose the procedures and means for dispute settlement. In 2006, pursuant to Article 298 of UNCLOS, China declared to exclude from the compulsory procedures disputes concerning maritime delimitation, historic bays or titles, military and law enforcement activities. There are over 30 countries that have made similar declaration.

Third, the unilateral arbitration broke the bilateral agreements reached between China and the Philippines over the years to resolve relevant disputes in the South China Sea through negotiation.

Fourth, the arbitration violated the commitment jointly made by China and Asean countries, including the Philippines, in the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) to resolve the relevant disputes through negotiations by states directly concerned.

The Aquino III administration thought itself clever, but how can it deceive the whole world? As Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said, the arbitration is “the worst political collusion in the framework of international politics”, and “would bring negative impacts to Asean and peace in the region”.

Rod P. Kapunan, Philippine columnist of The Standard newspaper, pointed out that “after six years of hypocrisy and deceit, this shameless stooge (here refers to Aquino III) has brought us right into the doorstep of possible armed conflict with China all because it has chosen to pursue the US-designed policy of inciting hostility with our neighbour”.

Regarding the South China Sea situation, he wrote that “the lives of the Filipinos would be sacrificed to enforce a decision that if examined closely is a US proxy war which the Philippines would serve as cannon fodder in securing its interest in this part of the globe”.

The escalation in the South China Sea will bring enormous risks to the regional and even global security. The Philippines should recognise its mistakes and return to bilateral negotiation with China.

The violation of Dao by the arbitral tribunal lies in political manipulation, unfairness and unlawfulness. The arbitration is completely a political farce under legal pretext. The establishment of this tribunal lacks legitimacy.

The arbitrators it chose lack fairness. The tribunal lacks jurisdiction, and it evidently expanded, exceeded and abused its power.

The so-called “award” is even ridiculous. Experts pointed out that all the fees of the tribunal, including the huge reimbursement to the arbitrators, are borne by the Philippines alone. This has raised a lot of concerns and problems. People are asking if the Philippines “hired the judges”.

The composition of the tribunal is a result of political manipulation. Japan and Yanai Shunji, then president of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, acted as the broker.

The composition of the tribunal is quite weird: four of the five arbitrators are from Europe, the fifth one is a permanent resident in Europe, and all of them lack basic understanding of Asian culture and the South China Sea issue.

One fact could better show the play under the table. When the tribunal was established in April 2013, the first president appointed by Yanai was Chris Pinto, a senior Sri Lankan diplomat. Since Pinto’s wife is Philippine, he especially asked advice from both parties to the dispute and was recognised by the Philippines.

However, when Pinto later hinted that the tribunal might not have jurisdiction over the case, it raised deep concern of the US, Japan and the Philippines. The latter asked Yanai to find somebody to replace Pinto for a so-called “just cause”. In May 2013, Pinto was forced to resign.

The tribunal abused power for its own interest. Many experts of international law believe that the tribunal has no jurisdiction over territorial sovereignty and maritime delimitation. Just as Sofaer said, this arbitration is related to sovereignty disputes. It shouldn’t have been started, especially when a state party has declared in writing that it does not accept compulsory procedures over such disputes as maritime delimitation according to Article 298 of UNCLOS. The tribunal’s ruling “will broadly undermine the potential utility of international adjudication”.

The tribunal disregarded the fact that the essence of the subject matter of the arbitration is the issue of territorial sovereignty and maritime delimitation.

It erroneously interprets the common choice of means of dispute settlement already made jointly by China and the Philippines, erroneously construes the legal effect of the relevant commitment in the DOC, deliberately circumvents the optional exceptions declaration made by China, selectively takes relevant islands and reefs out of the macro-geographical framework of the South China Sea Islands, and subjectively and speculatively interprets and applies UNCLOS.

The conduct of the tribunal and its award seriously contravene the general practice of international arbitration, completely deviate from the object and purpose of UNCLOS to promote peaceful settlement of disputes, substantially impair the integrity and authority of UNCLOS, gravely infringe upon China’s legitimate rights as a sovereign state and state party to UNCLOS, and are unjust and unlawful. It has set an extremely dangerous precedent in the history of international law.

The professional ethics of the arbitrators are widely criticised. All the Western arbitrators and expert witnesses played a shameful role as though they were chameleons.

They reversed their previous position as stated in published papers and even backtracked from their long-held views to make the case for the Philippines.

Arbitrator Alfred Soons had published his opinion that the status of islands was closely associated with demarcation and sovereignty issues.

However, when the tribunal ruled on jurisdiction and admissibility, he said the tribunal had the right to decide on the Philippines’ submissions concerning legal status and maritime entitlement of certain islands including Huangyan Island (Scarborough Shoal) and Meiji Reef (Mischief Reef ), which was entirely contradictory to his previous viewpoint.

Expert witness Clive Schofield also changed his views at the proceedings. On the same subject, using the same materials, he drew totally different conclusions in and out of the tribunal.

People must be wondering: how could they discard professional ethics to serve the interests of those who pay them?

Facts speak louder than words. The unilateral arbitration initiated by the Aquino III administration violates international law.

The tribunal has no jurisdiction over this case. The award of the tribunal is null and void. China’s position is justified and lawful.

It is time to put an end to the arbitration on the South China Sea. Consultation is the right way to settle disputes between states.

China will continue to work together with the Asean countries to implement the DOC comprehensively and effectively, promote the consultation on a code of conduct in the South China Sea, manage and control relevant disputes properly and explore maritime cooperation, in order to build the South China Sea into a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation.

by Huang Huikang The Star Malaysia 20 Jul 2016

The writer is a member of the International Law Commission of the United Nations and the Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia. The views expressed here are the writer’s own.

 

Related:

South China Sea arbitration:

Who are the arbitrators?

 https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/j3VsgQQJNZQ

The Xinhua news agency has accused the US government, the Philippines, the arbitration panel and Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe of collusion in the recently concluded South China Sea arbitration case.

Four of the five arbitrators of the temporary tribunal were appointed by Shunji Yanai, the former president of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. The former Japanese diplomat’s political stance and speeches went against the principles of the independence of the international judiciary. Shunji Yanai served the Japanese Foreign Ministry for 40 years from 1961. He has been involved in controversial issues, including Japan’s 2015 security bill, and the Diaoyu Islands dispute with China. He has a close relationship with Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe.

The fairness of the tribunal’s operations was called into question by the personal wishes of Shunji Yanai. The Xinhua news agency commented that it was not surprising that Yanai generally chose arbitrators who were biased against China.

In addition, an American legal team provided help in drafting thousands of pages of legal documents, representing the Philippines presenting arguments to the tribunal. American lawyer Bernard Oxman, who represented the Philippines, had worked with most of the arbitrators and Yanai. He attended the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea as a representative for United States government. Based on the principles of independence of the international judiciary, the impartiality of a judge can be questioned if there are any links to a party involved in a case. Despite that, Oxman was still involved.

There is no doubt the close relationship between Oxman and US government, the Philippines government, arbitrators, Yanai and Abe. These links form a complex network of special political interests. The Xinhua news agency says they took advantage of legal platform and after three years they issued their pre-arranged ruling and finished their political farce.

Telegraph.co.uk – 

The so-called award made by the South China Sea arbitral tribunal attracted wide attention.

 

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PLA Air Force conducts combat air patrol in South China Sea


Undated photo shows a Chinese H-6K bomber patrolling islands and reefs including Huangyan Dao in the South China Sea. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force conducted a combat air patrol in the South China Sea recently, which will become a “regular” practice in the future, said a military spokesperson on July 18, 2016. The PLA sent H-6K bombers and other aircraft including fighters, scouts and tankers to patrol islands and reefs including Huangyan Dao, said Shen Jinke, spokesman for the PLA Air Force. (Xinhua/Liu Rui)

China to make ‘regular’ air combat patrols over South China Sea

 The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force conducted acombat air patrol in the South China Sea recently, which will become a

‘regular’ practice in the future, said a military spokesperson on Monday. http://t.cn/Rtz9LNO

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force conducted a combat air patrol in the South China Sea recently, which will become a “regular” practice in the future, said a military spokesperson on Monday.

The PLA sent H-6K bombers and other aircraft including fighters, scouts and tankers to patrol islands and reefs including Huangyan Dao, said Shen Jinke, spokesman for the PLA Air Force.

During the mission, the aircraft carried out tasks including aerial scouting, air combat and island and reef patrol, fulfilling the patrol’s objective, Shen said.

The Air Force aims to promote real combat training over the sea, improve combat abilities against various security threats and safeguard national sovereignty and security, according to the spokesperson.

“To effectively fulfill its mission, the air force will continue to conduct combat patrols on a regular basis in the South China Sea,” he said.

Shen pointed out that the South China Sea Islands have been China’s territory since ancient times, and China’s rights and interests in relevant maritime areas should not be infringed upon.

“The PLA Air Force will firmly defend national sovereignty, security and maritime interests, safeguard regional peace and stability, and cope with various threats and challenges,” he said.

Chinese naval commander urges more cooperation with US

The commander of the People’s Liberation Army Navy Wu Shengli has stressed that China and the United States have key roles in ensuring peace and stability in the South China Sea, and cooperation
between the navies of the two countries is ‘the only correct option.’http://t.cn/Rtz9Mir

Wu made the remarks on Monday while meeting with his U.S. counterpart Admiral John Richardson and his delegation to discuss maritime security.

Describing the current security situation in waters around China as “complicated and sensitive” and noting the escalating South China Sea issue, Wu said Richardson’s visit will be beneficial for the two countries to strengthen communication, promote trust, resolve doubts and avoid misjudgments.

“We will never sacrifice our sovereignty and interests in the South China Sea,” Wu said, stressing that it is China’s “core interest” and concerns the foundation of the Party’s governance, the country’s security and stability and the Chinese nation’s basic interests.

Wu said that China will not recede over territorial sovereignty or fear any military provocation, which the Chinese navy is fully prepared to cope with.

“We will never stop our construction on the Nansha Islands halfway… the Nansha Islands are China’s inherent territory, and our necessary construction on the islands is reasonable, justified and lawful,” Wu said.

He stressed that “no matter what country or person applies pressure,” China will push forward and complete island construction as planned.

According to Wu, China will never be caught off guard, and the number of its defense facilities is completely determined by the number of threats it faces.

Wu vowed that China will never give up its efforts to solve the South China Sea issue peacefully, despite “many negative factors at present,” but also warned that “any attempt to force China to give in through flexing military muscles will only have the opposite effect.”

Wu expressed his hope that the two countries’ air and maritime forces fully follow the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea and the Rules of Behavior for the Safety of Air and Maritime Encounters to avoid strategic misjudgment or exchange of fire, and to jointly ensure the peace and stability of the South China Sea.

Wu called on the two sides to promote strategic mutual trust, seek common ground, expand the scope of cooperation and create new momentum for China and the United States to develop a new type of major-power relations between the two countries.

 

Wu: China won’t halt construction in South China Sea

Admiral Wu Shengli, the Commander of the Chinese Navy, has
held talks in Beijing with the US Chief of Naval Operations John
Richardson, amid tensions in the South China Sea.

South China Sea arbitration award won’t hamper China-ASEAN cooperation: experts

SINGAPORE, July 18, 2016 (Xinhua) — Photo taken on July 18, 2016 shows the Think Tank Seminar on South China Sea and Regional Cooperation and Development held in Singapore. Organized by the Institute of Chinese Borderland Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the seminar attracted more than 20 experts from academic institutes in China and countries in the region, including Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and India. (Xinhua/Then Chih Wey)

SINGAPORE, July 18 (Xinhua) — The so-called South China Sea arbitration award will not hamper cooperation between China and the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), experts said here on Monday.

The ad hoc arbitral tribunal in the South China Sea arbitration, set up at the unilateral request of the former Philippine government, last Tuesday issued an ill-founded award sweepingly sided with Manila, denying China’s long-standing historic rights in the South China Sea.

China has refused to participate in the proceedings, reiterating that the tribunal has no jurisdiction over the case, which is in essence related to territorial sovereignty and maritime delimitation, and has also made clear that it neither accepts nor recognizes the award and the award “is null and void and has no binding force.”

China has also reaffirmed that it will continue to endeavor to peacefully resolve disputes in the South China Sea with parties directly concerned through negotiation and consultation on the basis of respecting historical facts and in accordance with international law.

Nearly one week after the so-called award was rendered, more than 20 experts on international law and foreign relations from academic institutes in China and Southeast Asian countries including Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia convened here Monday for the Think Tank Seminar on South China Sea and Regional Cooperation and Development, which was organized by the Institute of Chinese Borderland Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

In a keynote speech at the seminar, Zhao Qizheng, former minister of China’s State Council Information Office, reiterated that the ad hoc arbitral tribunal has no jurisdiction over the case.

Zhao said the Philippine tax payers’ money was used for a pile of waste paper, blasting the tribunal for “taking big money to do dirty things” and describing its proceedings as “amateurish and unsightly, null and void.”

Zhao’s remarks were echoed by attendees, who also agreed with Zhao that the disputes can only be settled through dialogue and by deepening China-ASEAN ties.

Kong Lingjie, vice dean of China Institute of Boundary and Ocean Studies, China’s Wuhan University, criticized the so-called arbitration, branding it as “a bold interpretation and ambitious development of article 123(1) of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

“The most absurd ruling was on the Taiping Island’s status as a rock,” said Kong, adding that the ruling would deny most of the Nansha Islands’ rights to exclusive economic zones.

In this case, Kong said, the arbitration violated the international law and fabricated “an illegal definition of the distinction between islands and reefs.”

Experts at the seminar also voiced support for the notion of bringing concerned parties involved in the South China Sea issue back to the negotiating table.

Zheng Yongnian, director of the East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore, said he believes that China and the Philippines should start the dialogue process to solve the dispute.

“It is not true that a great power has been bullying small countries,” Zheng said, noting that certain countries in the region kowtow too much to the United States.

Zheng suggested that China and other concerned parties over the South China Sea issue could firstly initiate cooperation in maritime rescue efforts, fishery and protection of maritime resources.

At the one-day seminar, experts, in addition, all agreed that the arbitration would not impede the cooperation process between China and the ASEAN countries.

Li Guoqiang, deputy director of the Institute of Chinese Borderland Studies, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the seminar that there lies a huge potential for the development of China-ASEAN ties.

“With the strategic opportunity produced by China’s 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative, the two sides are planning to upgrade their free trade agreement,” Li said.

Zhao Qizheng, meanwhile, underscored the fact that China became ASEAN’s biggest trade partner in 2009.

He said that despite the difficulties, including territorial disputes, the intervention of countries outside the region and the not well-established cooperation mechanism, the communication and cooperation between China and the ASEAN members has never ceased and has brought great benefits to all countries.

“It is beyond doubt that maintaining regional peace and stability, and keeping the momentum of cooperation and development is in the best interest of all,” Zhao said.

– by Zhang Ning, Lin Hao Xinhua

Experts: ‘Award’ won’t settle disputes

Nearly 30 legal and political experts from China and Southeast Asian countries have compared notes on the South China Sea arbitration case at a think-tank seminar in Singapore.

Biased award in South China Sea arbitration has no binding force: expert

SINGAPORE, July 18 (Xinhua) — The biased award rendered by an arbitral tribunal in the South China Sea arbitration has no binding force as the ad hoc tribunal violated international law principles and standards, an expert said here on Monday.

Sienho Yee, chief expert at the Institute of Boundary and Ocean Studies of Wuhan University, said the arbitral tribunal adopted an excessively expansive interpretation of the jurisdictional grant, played a game of words, and distorted the text of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The wrongful exercise by the tribunal did a substantial damage to the international rule of law, he said, adding that it had failed to consider and respect the limitations imposed by UNCLOS and China’s intents and purposes in invoking its explicit right under the convention to exclude disputes concerning maritime delimitation and historic titles.

“It is manifestly clear that the tribunal abuses its power and as a result the award is null and avoid,” he told Xinhua during a think tank seminar on South China Sea and regional cooperation and development.

Yee also pointed out that the arbitral award was not generally accepted, so they would be with no binding force.

“The large number of states supporting China’s positions seems to show that the decisions of the tribunal are not generally acceptable and therefore are without binding force,” he said.

The Chinese government said the ad hoc arbitral tribunal established at the unilateral request of the Philippines has no jurisdiction over relevant submissions, and the award rendered by it is null and void with no binding force.

The tribunal had exemplified the philosophy of “the end justifies the means” by excessively expansive interpretation of the jurisdictional grant and the sweeping final award, in a bid to exhibit its determination to settle any dispute that may exist in its view, while disregarding any other issues such as respect for the sovereignty of the states involved, said Yee.

“The danger of this philosophy to the effectiveness and legitimacy of the international legal system, international rule of law and the world order at large is clear, and we must guard against this danger,” he said.

Unmasks manipulator behind South China Sea arbitration

Citing a survey from the Xinhua News Agency, a People’s Daily article has unmasked Shunji Yanai as a manipulator behind the null South China Sea arbitration.

Shunji Yanai (Photo: http://www.itlos.org)

Published on Monday, the article names Yanai, a Japanese diplomat and former president of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), played a key role in the case. He appointed four of the five-member arbitral tribunal on the South China Sea case, the fifth appointed by the Philippines.

Yanai appointed the four members because China did not agree to the arbitration.

Rightist, hawkish, pro-American, unfriendly to China…these are the labels people often associate with Yanai, the article said. His closeness to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is also no secret. Such an academic and political background also speaks for his political inclination during his tenure in the ITLOS.

Coming from a diplomatic family, Yanai entered the Japanese Foreign Ministry upon graduation in 1961, where he was involved in sensitive projects related to the Diaoyu Islands and the Japan-US security alliance.

But in 2001, he left the Foreign Ministry along with three other officials amid a series of embezzlement scandals within the ministry.

However Yanai, on recommendation of Japan despite his tainted record, became a judge of the ITLOS in 2005 and president of the organization from 2011 to 2014.

After the Philippines unilaterally initiated the arbitration case against China in 2013, a five-member arbitral tribunal was created by Yanai, the then president of the ITLOS.

The Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary, adopted by the UN to better maintain justice, stipulated that the extra-judicial activities conducted by the judges and arbitrators should not contradict their work or impede the judicial process.

However, Yanai also served as a mastermind of the Japanese government on military actions and security policies when he worked for the ITLOS.

With close ties to Abe, Yunai served as chairman of an expert panel advising the prime minister on security laws. In May 2014, his panel presented a report to Abe, advising to revise the country’s constitution and lift the ban on Japan sending its military overseas.

As a result, Japan, in 2015, ended its 70 years of pacifism by enacting controversial security laws that allow for Japan to dispatch troops overseas to engage in armed conflict.

As conflicts between China and Japan over the sovereignty and delimitation of the Diaoyu Islands increased in recent years, Yanai advocated to lift the ban on Japan sending its military overseas and expanding the Japan-US military alliance to gain a military edge.

Given the maritime conflicts and historical issues between China and Japan, as well as Yanai’s political leanings, he is not the right person to engage in the South China Sea issue. Also, it is not surprising that Yanai generally chose arbitrators that were biased against China.

In addition, the Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary also clarify that in exercising rights, judges shall always conduct themselves in such a manner as to preserve the dignity of their office and the impartiality and independence of the judiciary.

However, Yanai has a clear political position as a rightist. During his term on the private panel, he repeatedly told Japanese media that the country has not given up its right to collective self-defense as prescribed in their constitution.

In a program by the Japan Broadcasting Corporation, he also asked Japan to resort to the Japan-US Security Treaty for security assurance, claiming that the UN is useless in this regard, thus exposing his double-sided nature.

“From the results of the arbitration, people can see that it was conducted by a bunch of people who knew very little about South China Sea issues,” said Motofumi Asai, a former official of the Japanese Foreign Ministry in charge of China affairs and a former colleague of Yanai.

“The arbitration was obviously conducted in accordance to the will of the Abe administration,” he said.

All these facts prove that Yanai’s political background and leaning run counter to the Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary. Yanai’s tribunal was flawed in both justice and validity from the very first day of its establishment, the article concluded. –  (People’s Daily Online)

Related:  

Japan’s interference makes summit unlikely

 

 Philippine media: Gov’t spent $30 mln on arbitration

Philippine media report that the government spent 30 million US dollars on the South China Sea arbitration case over the past three and half years. Neither the Philippines nor the tribunal have given details of that spending. But we can get some idea from published charges and past tribunal fees.
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China’s reaction to arbitration depends on provocation


The award of the South China Sea arbitration will be issued at 5 pm Beijing time Tuesday. The US and Japan have claimed that relevant countries, including China, should comply with the arbitration result. They stand in sharp confrontation with China, which has announced that the award would be “nothing but a piece of paper.” Whether the arbitration will lead to a severe geopolitical crisis has come under the global spotlight.

The Western media is analyzing how China will respond to the award. Bloomberg posited three scenarios from Beijing, from benign to moderately aggressive or aggressive. It considers that China establishing an South China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) would be moderately aggressive and towing away the Philippine warship grounded at Ren’ai Reef and construction on Huangyan Island as aggressive.

We believe the Chinese government must have made a series of contingency plans to deal with subsequent actions. What actions China may take on Huangyan and Ren’ai, and whether China will announce a South China Sea ADIZ depends on the reactions of the Philippines to the arbitration result and the degree of US and Japanese provocations.

So far, none of the concerned parties want military confrontation. But all are ratcheting up military preparations. The South China Sea has been clouded by unprecedented tensions. It’s uncertain where the situation will head to.

Chinese society pays close attention to the South China Sea situation. After the the post-arbitration wrestling begins, the most important thing for China is to show the outside world the solidarity of its society. For one thing, Chinese society has full confidence in the country’s diplomatic and maritime strength; for another, no matter what price China has to pay for the wrangling, all the Chinese will squarely accept it.

The Chinese people and government share the same interests and responsibilities. We should not only safeguard territorial sovereignty, but also make the utmost efforts to maintain peace in China’s periphery, prolonging China’s strategic opportunities for China’s rise.

The South China Sea is a big arena. China will devote its varied resources there. China in the past was weak. It could only express determinations through demonstrations or a few activists visiting its own islands in the South China Sea. But now it has multiple means at its disposal. It has become a formidable competitor that deserves respect. No power in the world could split a united China. As long as we stick together, provocateurs are doomed to fail.

Source:Global Times

Related:

https://player.cntv.cn/standard/cntvOutSidePlayer.swf

China calls for dialogues to resolve disagreement – CCTV News – CCTV.com English
http://english.cctv.com/2016/07/12/VIDEjonBZ4jsADHvtfqTLiBu160712.shtml

http://t.cn/R5DT1ML

 

Unlawful arbitration cannot negate China’s sovereignty over South China Sea: People’s Daily

The arbitration case is actually a trap set by the US and the Philippines in which the arbitral tribunal has played the role of an accomplice.

  

South China Sea arbitration invalid, law experts say

The tribunal has explained the case in an irresponsible way and set a bad precedent, according to experts and scholars from around the world.
Washington’s outsider position undercuts its message as it urges China to respect global maritime no[Read it]
Quotable quotes on S. China Sea arbitration: tribunal’s arbitration is unlawful

Western media have hyped up the South China Sea issue for a long time, with reports full of prejudice and distortion. They have purposely created rumors, smeared China and deliberately
overlooked voices of justice.

More countries voice support for China’s stance

 

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abusing its power …. US containing a rising Chinese power.

 

China urges Philippines to quit arbitration; Pushes back against US pressure


China urges Philippines to immediately cease arbitral proceedings

>

http://english.cctv.com/2016/06/09/VIDESodRMnJFJdiaDZ3JKzuo160609.shtml

<<< Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei (Source: fmprc.gov.cn)

BEIJING, June 8 (Xinhua) — China on Wednesday again urged the Philippines to stop its arbitral proceedings and return to the right track of settling relevant disputes in the South China Sea through bilateral negotiation with China.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the comment at a routine press briefing.

The Foreign Ministry on Wednesday issued a statement saying that disputes between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea should be settled through bilateral negotiation.

Hong said that by unilaterally initiating the arbitration in 2013, the Philippines had turned its back on the possibility of solving the issue through negotiation, leading to a dramatic deterioration of relations between China and the Philippines.

China and the Philippines have reached consensus on settling maritime disputes through bilateral negotiation in a number of bilateral documents, but the two countries have never engaged in any negotiation on the subject-matters of the arbitration, said Hong.

By unilaterally initiating the arbitration, the Philippines has violated its agreement with China as well as its own solemn commitment in the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), he said.

This is an abuse of the dispute settlement procedures of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and is against international law, including UNCLOS, he added.

The door of China-Philippines bilateral negotiation is always open, he said. “China will remain committed to settling through negotiation the relevant disputes with the Philippines in the South China Sea on the basis of respecting historical facts and in accordance with international law.”

“China urges the Philippines to immediately cease its wrongful conduct of pushing forward the arbitral proceedings, and return to the right path of settling the relevant disputes in the South China Sea through bilateral negotiation with China,” Hong said. – Xinhua

BEIJING: China has urged the Philippines to “immediately cease its wrongful conduct of pushing forward the arbitral proceedings” and “return to the right path” of settling the relevant disputes in the South China Sea, through bilateral negotiation.

In an official statement released yesterday, the Foreign Ministry reaffirmed Beijing’s commitment to a settlement via two-way negotiations, rather than an arbitration unilaterally sought by Manila against China in 2013.

Ties between Beijing and Manila were sunk after the initiation of the arbitration. From the very start of the arbitral process, China has refused to accept or participate.

In the wake of recent comments made by various Chinese officials about the arbitration, the statement said “the door of China-Philippines bilateral negotiation is always open”.

Observers and the media have increasingly called on Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte and his expected administration to quit the arbitration and return to the table for two-way negotiations.

The arbitral case is still pending. Some media and observers said the expected ruling by the arbitral tribunal would be made in a few weeks.

China will remain committed to settling through negotiation the relevant disputes “on the basis of respecting historical facts and in accordance with international law,” the ministry wrote.

In the past weeks, Washington has publicly pressed Beijing to accept the ruling.

That also included a call from US Defence Secretary Ash Carter on Saturday at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

Wu Shicun, president of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, said although it remained to be seen if the incoming Philippine administration would quit the arbitration and return to the table for talks, “it is apparent that the arbitration – from its very beginning – has led to increasing, not decreasing, number of problems between Beijing and Manila”.

“Other regional countries will come to the conclusion that embarking on such an arbitration will obtain no benefit, not to mention resolving any of the existing disputes,” Wu said.

Jia Duqiang, a researcher of South-East Asian studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said as the arbitration process came to a critical moment, all parties knew clearly that “no good will serve any party if the big picture is damaged”.

He also said the incoming administration was re-evaluating its policies towards China. — China Daily / Asia News Network

China pushes back against US pressure

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/ZabX_OfMRss

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/ZabX_OfMRss

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/qAsu3U47DzA

SINGAPORE: China rebuffed US pressure to curb its activity in the South China Sea today, restating its sovereignty over most of the disputed territory and saying it “has no fear of trouble”.

On the last day of Asia’s biggest security summit, Admiral Sun Jianguo said China will not be bullied, including over a pending international court ruling over its claims in the vital trade route.

“We do not make trouble, but we have no fear of trouble,” Sun told the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, where more than 600 security, military and government delegates had gathered over three days.

“China will not bear the consequences, nor will it allow any infringement on its sovereignty and security interest, or stay indifferent to some countries creating chaos in the South China Sea.”

The waterway has become a flashpoint between the United States, which increased its focus on the Asia-Pacific under President Barack Obama’s “pivot”, and China, which is projecting ever greater economic, political and military power in the region.

The two have traded accusations of militarising the waterway as Beijing undertakes large-scale land reclamation and construction on disputed features while Washington has increased its patrols and exercises.

On Saturday, top US officials including defence secretary Ash Carter warned China of the risk of isolating itself internationally and pledged to remain the main guarantor of Asian security for decades.

Despite repeated notes of concern from countries such as Japan, India, Vietnam and South Korea, Sun rejected the prospect of isolation, saying that many of the Asian countries at the gathering were “warmer” and “friendlier” to China than a year ago.

China had 17 bilateral meetings this year, compared with 13 in 2015.

“We were not isolated in the past, we are not isolated now and we will not be isolated in the future,” Sun said.

“Actually I am worried that some people and countries are still looking at China with the Cold War mentality and prejudice. They may build a wall in their minds and end up isolating themselves.”

During a visit to Mongolia today, US secretary of state John Kerry urged Beijing not to establish an air defence identification zone (Adiz) over the South China Sea.

Kerry, who will visit China next, said an Adiz would be “a provocative and destabilising act”, which would question Beijing’s commitment to diplomatically manage the dispute.

The South China Sea is expected to feature prominently at annual high-level China-US talks starting in Beijing on Monday, also attended by US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

US concerns about Chinese trade policy and the difficulty foreign businesses say they face operating in China will add to what will likely be difficult discussions. — Reuters

Related: 

Philippine politicians, experts, opinion leaders call for bilateral talks with China on South China Sea issue

Politicians,international relations experts and opinion leaders from the Philippines on Wednesday called on President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to start bilateral talks with China on the South China Sea issue as soon as
possible.

 Studio interview: Arbitration will not solve dispute

For more insights into the South China Sea issue, we have as our studio guest Jia Xiudong, a Senior Research Fellow from the China Institute of International Studies. Q1. China insists the Philippines
unilateral arbitration is illegal. So how much do you think the arbitration can help solve the maritime dispute?

Beijing believes Manila is politically motivated

 China believes that there are political motivations behindthe arbitration by the Philippines, as it is an open denial of China’ssovereignty. It brings uncertainty to how China would solve disputes with other countries.

South China Sea FAQ 2: What are China’s historical claims to the South China Sea?

 What are China’s historical claims to the South China Sea?

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Analysts pooh-pooh US Defence Secretary’s ‘self-isolation’ as an exaggerationAnalysts refute Ashton Carter’s China ‘self-isolation’ claims SINGAPORE – US defense secretary’s China “self-i…

Analysts pooh-pooh US Defence Secretary’s ‘self-isolation’ as an exaggeration


Analysts refute Ashton Carter’s China ‘self-isolation’ claims

SINGAPORE – US defense secretary’s China “self-isolation” claims were totally incorrect, local analysts said here on Saturday.

In a speech delivered here Saturday at the on-going Shangri-La Dialogue, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said China could end up erecting a Great Wall of self-isolation, but analysts here refuted Carter’s remarks as one-sided and over-exaggerated.

As China develops, Asia-Pacific countries had built close relations with not only the United States but also China, which proves Carter’s China “self-isolation” claims at best “exaggerated,” said Huang Jing, Professor and Director of Center on Asia and Globalization, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.

http://player.cntv.cn/standard/cntvOutSidePlayer.swf

Video:
South China Sea Is Indisputable Part of China

Video:
8th China-U.S. S&ED & 7th CPE

Carter’s claims are misinterpreting China’s policies, and are not in line with the two countries’ consensus on forging new pattern of relationship, said Colonel Lu Yin, Associate Researcher from the Institute of Strategic Studies of China’s National Defense University.

The colonel noted that Carter’s remarks revealed logical paradoxes in the US rebalance strategy in the Asia-Pacific.

“I don’t see it possible that without efforts from China, the United States can realize its rebalance strategic in the Asia-Pacific region as well as achieve common prosperity as envisioned,” said Lu.

In his half-hour or so speech, the US defense secretary mentioned the word “principle” for as many as 37 times. In Professor Huang Jing’s view, it is fairly disputable that the United States does faithfully stick to principle.

When asked about the fact that not only China, but countries including Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam all had similar construction actions, Carter said there are differences in the scale of such activities.

If one really sticks to principles, it doesn’t matter what scale the actions might be, any construction activity is against the principle, argued Professor Huang.

On matters of navigation freedom, the professor said that navigation freedom should be guaranteed, but any country’s freedom shall not be at the cost of posing threats to others.

Although tensions in the South China Sea are included in Carter’s speech, analysts pointed out that the US defense secretary had also elaborated on the fact that China and the United States do have cooperation potentials over a number of international agendas. To safeguard peace and stability in Asia-Pacific, the two countries need to cooperate.

Oh Ei Sun, senior fellow with S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, said that Carter actually adopted a relatively “mild” approach when addressing disputes in the Asia-Pacific and gave much emphasis on setting up security networks in the region.

William Choong, Shangri-La Dialogue Senior Fellow for Asia-Pacific Security, said he thought the US-China relations are far more inclusive.

It’s a broader relationship, although they disagree on the South China Sea issue, they can agree on many other issues which are important, such as the cooperation in cyber space, the DPRK issue, and climate change, he said.

The two countries are preparing for their upcoming strategic economic dialogue as well, he noted.

“To put it very simply, even though there are tensions in the South China Sea, I think the relationship is broad enough and strong enough, and has enough institutional mechanism for both sides to avoid their differences and work on potential solutions,” said the researcher.

China refutes US defense secretary’s China ‘self-isolation’ claims

SINGAPORE – A high-ranking Chinese military official Saturday refuted US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s “self-isolation” claims about China.

“Carter’s claims are incorrect and do not accord with the actual situation,” Guan Youfei, director of the Office for International Military Cooperation of the Chinese Central Military Commission, told the media.

Guan’s comments came after Carter’s claims at the ongoing Shangri-La Dialogue that China’s military activities in the South China Sea would isolate itself.

Guan said the United States should learn lessons from the wars it had waged in the Asia-Pacific region after World War II and play a constructive role in the region.

Guan urged the United States to keep its security pledges, withdraw troops from Afghanistan as soon as possible, stop arms sale to China’s Taiwan and refrain from holding military drills on the Korean Peninsula.

Guan said China has made great efforts in promoting international and regional security cooperation since its reform and opening-up, and China’s achievements in areas such as peacekeeping, disaster relief and naval escort missions are obvious.

China will continue to enhance cooperation with other Asia-Pacific countries under the Belt and Road initiative in various fields, the Chinese military official added.

The US defense secretary had earlier made similar accusations against China in a speech delivered at the US Naval Academy. The Chinese Foreign Ministry had responded, saying such claims reflected “American-style mentality” and “American-style hegemony.”

Sources: China Daily/Asia News Network

Chinese Admiral reiterates stance on South China Sea

Related:

Firm line taken on sea dispute

Beijing will not sit by and see several countries throwing the South
China Sea into chaos, the head of China’s delegation to Shangri-La
Dialogue said.

Seeing beyond the viewpoint of conflict may be a way out

Neither the Chinese nor the United States military backed off from where they stood in previous exchanges over the South China Sea issue.

Arbitral tribunal abusing its power

Despite China’s strong opposition, the arbitral tribunal announced in late October 2015 that it can judge on seven of the 15 submissions, and linger over some other submissions.

China meets with ‘enlarging circle of friends’

During a 55-hour period ending Sunday, 64-year-old Admiral General Sun Jianguo took part in a whirlwind of military diplomacy comprising 17 two-way meetings on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in
Singapore

 

Even the claimant countries in the waters want to prioritize safeguarding peaceful development in the region.

Asia doesn’t welcome return to Cold War

But Carter won’t change his attitude. He represents a clique that is eager to sustain Washington’s hegemony in the Western Pacific by reinforcing military deployments and containing China’s peaceful rise.

Image for the news result

China urges US, Japan to stop pointing fingers on South China Sea

The iron lady of the last survivors of Japanese occupation in WWII Part 4


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The Last Survivors: Yap Chwee Lan
How Japan Forced Women Into Sexual Slavery

AT the age of 15, girls were pretending to be boys during the Japanese Occupation in Malaya, but Yap Chwee Lan was bravely rescuing the people of Kampung Baru, Johor, all because she could speak Japanese.

“Every night, about seven or eight young girls from the neighbourhood would come to my house to sleep because they felt safer there. They knew I could speak Japanese,” recalled Yap, now 90.

“The Japanese soldiers would come knocking on our door to ask for young girls and I’d respond in Japanese, ‘ Why do you need women? You need housekeepers?’. They were shocked I could speak Japanese.”

Yap learnt the language from her former Japanese employer, who was a hairdresser in Johor. The then 13- yearold picked up the language quickly, and was even treated well by his family.

Yap’s fluency in their language granted her favour in the eyes of the Japanese, and this ordinary girl found herself holding extraordinary power – the ability to save people.

She managed to save those who lived in her town, Kampung Baru, Johor, by identifying them – in Japanese – to the soldiers who would have killed them on suspicion of aiding the resistance.

And we were there to capture her experiences as the R. AGE crew brought her around Johor to film at locations that hold significant memories during the Occupation. This is for The Last Survivors, an interactive online documentary project that aims to raise awareness to youths about the importance of preserving Malaysian World War II stories.

Listening to her stories when he was growing up, one of Yap’s grandson Sebastian Chew, 18, is glad he didn’t have to experience WWII and the Occupation as he thinks it will haunt him throughout his life.

“I can’t imagine going through everything – from the bombings, hiding, living in fear and when the Japanese made the people dig their own graves in one of the fields and killed them. I don’t know how my grandma did it,” he said.

“That’s why I think it’s important for young people to know about these war stories so they can prevent anything of this sort from happening in the future. It’s cruel and heartbreaking.”

In her teenage years, Yap, whose father passed away when she was seven years old, had to work because her family was living in poverty.

She got married when she was 15, and lived with her husband Chiew Seng Leung at his laundry shop, Kedai Dobi Shanghai, in Johor Baru. Twenty days after their wedding, the Japanese started bombing Singapore.

Japanese fighter jets, based in Johor, would fly across to Singapore twice a day to bomb the neighbouring country. As the Japanese was attacking Singapore, lots of people walked over to Johor for safety. Yap and her family evacuated to Tampoi.

“We packed food and clothes, and placed them on my husband’s bicycle. As we were walking to Tampoi, we were stopped by a soldier because he wanted our bicycle. I told him in Japanese that it was ours and he let us through,” said Yap.

“The soldiers would leave you alone if they knew you could speak Japanese because it was like you were one of them. They’ll have more respect for you.”

Once they were in Tampoi, they sought refuge in a temple along with about 50 other refugees, but soldiers came looking for comfort women. Yap not only told them there were none, but also said she was part Japanese, hoping they wouldn’t come back.

But the next day, the Japanese returned. This time, they were with their general.

Yet, Yap wasn’t afraid. “Strangely enough, I wasn’t scared. He was impressed that I could speak Japanese and praised me, saying it was good because I could help the Japanese soldiers,” she said. He proceeded to ask Yap if they had enough food and made sure they did by sending them rice, sugar and flour so they could cook.

He also offered her a job in Singapore as a liaison officer between the Japanese and the locals. She took the job after the island was invaded, but later learned that the Singaporeans she had liaised with were all eventually killed.

The distance was too much for Yap to handle as well, as she didn’t know if her family was well and alive. She returned to Johor one week later, and things were unfortunately similar to what was happening in Singapore.

Chiew’s boss had been arrested, along with a bunch of other people.

“There were black flags all along the streets,” Yap recalled. “It meant everybody was to stay home, because the Japanese would arrest anyone on sight.”

Those who were arrested were taken to a house in Jalan Abdul Samad, behind what is now the Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar, to be held before being taken to Dataran Bandaraya, where they would be executed.

“When I got to the house, the people were kneeling on the ground, their hands tied behind their backs with thick wire as the Japanese soldiers pointed bayonets at them,” said Yap.

“A lot of them called out my name, begging me to save them. Then the Japanese asked if I knew these people.”

“I said, ‘ Yes, I do’. A lot of them lived in my neighbourhood. When I identi- fied them, they were freed.”

The rest, whom she couldn’t identify, weren’t so lucky. Her mother’s friend’s son was one of the unlucky ones.

“I didn’t see him there, I was devastated when I found out. His mother was crying in the street,” said Yap, recalling the horrors of wartime Malaya.

Those remained were brought to the field. They were asked to dig holes in the ground, sit at the edge of the holes and were shot with machine guns. As the bodies fell in, those who were merely injured were kicked into those holes they had dug themselves and buried alive together with the dead.

While a great number of people died during the Occupation, many more owe their lives to Yap.

Her family, though, remained safe, thanks to Yap.

“Before I went to Singapore, the Japanese general gave me a permit for my family,” she said. “He told me, ‘ If anybody disturbs your family, ask them to report to one of my officers’.”

Today, Yap and her family still live in Johor, where some of the survivors’ descendants still recognise her.

“I was walking around town and suddenly someone called out, ‘ Ah Ma!’. They told their kids that I saved their grandfather or grandmother,” Yap said with a laugh.

By VIVIENNE WONG The Star

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Last man standing in Penang under the Kempeitai during WWII Part 3


Working under the Kempeitai in Penang during WWII haunts James Jeremiah to this day.

While filming an episode of Jeremiah brought the crew back to the Wesley Methodist Church in Penang, where he would hear the screams of those torutured there by the Japanese. He had not been back to the church in over 70 years. — HAFrIZ IQBAL/ r. AGE

STARING out to sea on Fort Cornwallis, James Jeremiah cuts a lonely figure.

“Before the fighting started, we were so excited to shoot the Japanese. We had never seen war; we had only seen it in the movies,” said Jeremiah. “But the first time I heard a real bomb, I was scared to death.”

That was at the old Bayan Lepas Airport, where Jeremiah witnessed the beginning of the Japanese invasion of Penang. He was 18 at the time, and a member of the Eurasian “E” company of Penang, a volunteer force similar to the British Home Guard.

“We thought the Japanese would fly in from Batu Maung in the south, but they came in through Tanjung Bungah and Batu Ferringhi. I think they knew we were focused on the south.”

The tactic worked. The volunteers mistook the Japanese planes for British fighters, a mistake that almost cost them their lives.

“They turned out to be Japanese Zero fighters. They starting bombing and machine gunning us. Shrapnel was flying everywhere. I cannot even describe the fear we had in our hearts.”

Although they were trained to some extent, the Volunteer Forces ( VF) were not hardened military men.

After the bombing, it was only a matter of time before Japanese ground troops arrived.

Even then, the volunteer forces regrouped at their headquarters on Peel Avenue, and did their best to maintain order.

With the British gone and the Japanese at their doorstep, people were looting ruined houses and bodies were strewn everywhere from the bombing.

“We carried the dead bodies away, assisted the wounded and stopped all looters.

“It’s no joke when you’re in that situation – we just didn’t know what to do,” said Jeremiah.

Things quickly got worse when the Japanese arrived. The Volunteer Forces were rounded up, and the Europeans and fairskinned Eurasians were sent to Singapore to be held as prisoners of war.

“My father had rather dark skin, which I inherited. I think it saved my life!” said Jeremiah.

The remaining VF members were used by the Japanese as guides. Jeremiah’s work ethic as a guide caught the eye of a member of the Kempeitai, the feared Japanese military police.

“Colonel Watanabe took me to his office and asked what work I could do, so I said anything. He asked me to make tea, coffee, polish his boots – things like that.”

The Kempeitai office was located in the Wesley Methodist Church on Jalan Burma. Although he was a mere office boy, the experience was terrifying.

He still lives on Penang island today, a mere 20 minutes from the church – but he has never gone back to the church in over 70 years, until he brought R. AGE there last month to shoot an episode of The Last Survivors ( rage. com. my/ lastsurvivors).

“I used to see people being arrested. I don’t know how, but they were ‘ interrogated’. I used to hear screams, cries… I couldn’t take it,” he said in the video, which is part of a series documenting the stories of Malaysia’s WWII survivors.

Although the brutality of the Kempeitai has haunted many, including Jeremiah, not all the Japanese were cruel overlords.

Watanabe was educated in the United States, and he saved Jeremiah’s life a few times.

The Japanese would hold “trials” at public spaces – including Padang Kota Lama next to Fort Cornwallis – where their local informants would expose other locals who were working against the Japanese.

“( The informants) wore hoods when they pointed people out. The minute they point at you, you’re finished, gone,” said Jeremiah. “The Japanese would round up the public so the informants could point people out.”

Jeremiah thanks Watanabe for saving him from attending the trials, where he believes he could easily have been singled out for execution. “Watanabe protected me. I was so lucky, he was very good to me.”

Some of the informants flaunted their special privilege with the Japanese, according to Jeremiah.

“They would say ‘ don’t mess with us’, so we kept quiet. I remember a famous Eurasian doctor, Doctor J. E. Smith, who was done in by them and, I think, beheaded.”

Even with Watanabe’s protection, the atrocities being committed at the Kempeitai office was too much for Jeremiah to bear, and he asked to be transfered to the railways. The colonel relunctantly agreed.

Watanabe continued showing kindness to Jeremiah even after he started work as a locomotive driver, putting in a good word to his new boss and General Yamashita himself, the mastermind behind the invasion of Malaya. Yamashita had defeated the combined Australian, British and Indian force of 130,000 soldiers with just 30,000 troops.

“Yamashita was riding the train along with Tadashi Suzuki ( an infamous samurai sword- wielding executioner), but I couldn’t understand what they were saying as it was in Japanese,” said Jeremiah. “They noticed that my new boss’ boots were shining, and Watanabe said I was the one who polished them.”

The general made a lasting impression on young Jeremiah, who said the very sight of him made everyone afraid.

“He was very fierce and very dynamic, though very big and chubby. Everyone was afraid. I didn’t dare look him in the eye.”

While many struggled for food during the Occupation, Jeremiah said he was lucky to be paid in both “banana money” – the Japanese currency – and food.

“I used to get about 30 dollars a week, sometimes more. I saved the bread for my parents and if I wanted an egg, I’d ask Watanabe.”

Had he been caught smuggling eggs, the colonel would have beheaded him.

The horrors of the Occupation were a far cry from his pre- war days.

Jeremiah was rotated around a few places, including Fort Auchry ( now a Malaysian army camp), Fort Cornwallis and Batu Maung.

He remembers watching the Europeans and Eurasians boarding ships at Swettenham Pier heading to Singapore, where they believed they would be safe. Winston Churchill had insisted Singapore would not fall.

He was also posted at Batu Maung, a British fort which the Japanese turned into a torture chamber.

He brought the Last Survivors crew there during filming. The original fort remains, but the land is now a privately owned museumcum- theme park, with plastic “ghosts” hanging everywhere and a paintball field attached.

“Everything has changed,” said Jeremiah with a laugh. “I don’t remember any of this being here!”

Jeremiah spent the rest of the war as a locomotive driver. After the war, he worked at the Batu Ferringhi reservoir, where he would retire as a superintendent.

While he experienced many horrors during the war, something beautiful did come out of it. He met his late wife, a former Miss Thailand, during his time on the railways.

“I travelled all the way to Bangkok after the war to find her,” said Jeremiah with a wide smile.

“All I had was her name, as her letters never had a return address.”

Though he lives on, happily surrounded by his children and grandchildren, Jeremiah said young Malaysians need to find out about their grandparents’ experiences.

“War is something that hurts everyone – it’s not like what you see in the movies. They should find out; they need to be told what happened.”

Today, he has outlived all 18 members of the “E” Company, all five of his siblings, and one of his children.

“All my friends and colleagues are now gone. I am the last survivor.”

By Natasha Venner-Pack, The Star

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Sep 6, 2015 UN chief praises parade, China’s great contribution. The world has been saying about Beijing’s grand military parade on Thursday, held to mark the 70th anniversary of China’s victory in the War of Resistance Against Japanese ….Labels: 70th anniversary of the victory in the World Anti-Fascist War , China’s … 

WW2 Eastern frontier main battle: China’s V-day parade …

Sep 3, 2015 China holds parade, vows peace on war anniversary … Japanese Aggression (1937-45) and the end of World War II, China … The events ended with 10 air force formations flying over the square and … Tomorrow, China will be holding a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory in…

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