Tracking China’s Compliance with the South China Sea Arbitral Award


Julian Ku, Chris Mirasola




 October 3, 2016


Since the arbitral tribunal formed pursuant to the UN Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) handed China a stunning legal defeat in July, China has loudly proclaimed its intention to ignore the arbitral award. For most analysts of the region, it has been a working assumption that China has not and will not comply with any parts of the award. But China’s statements that it will ignore the award do not necessarily mean that it is currently in complete non-compliance or that it will never come into compliance in the future. China’s actions, as opposed to terse public statements, must be assessed as a measure of its compliance.