Taiwan: SCS Arbitration 479
IX JEAIL 2 (2016)
Michael Sheng-ti Gau
The Sino-Philippine Arbitration on the South China Sea Disputes was over on July
12, 2016, with a Merits Award in Philippine favor. Beijing rejected this arbitration
and abstained from submitting written and oral arguments. Taiwan actively engaged
in the debate with the Philippines since July 7, 2015. Not deemed as representative
of China, Taiwan was considered capable of clarifying the meaning of the U-Shaped
Line it first published in 1947 when seated in Nanjing, representing China then.
The biggest maritime feature in the Spratly Islands, i.e. Taiping Island (Itu Aba),
has been occupied by troops from mainland China since 1946 and then from Taiwan
since 1956. The legal status of Taiping Island was the key to success of Philippine
Submissions. The factual information from Taiwan became vital. This paper examines
Taiwan’s role in this arbitration and the degree to which it could actually speak for
China at such legal proceedings.
South China Sea Arbitration, UNCLOS, Annex VII-Tribunal, Taiping Island,
U-Shaped Line, Article 121 of UNCLOS
Arbitration on the South
China Sea Disputes and
the Taiwan Factor
∗ Professor of International Law at the Institute for the Law of the Sea, National Taiwan Ocean University. LL.B.(NTU),
LL.M. (Cantab/London), Ph.D. (Leiden). The views expressed in this paper are those of the author and do not represent
the official position of any government agencies or other people. The author may be contacted: email@example.com /
Address: No. 1, Peining Road, Keelung City, 20224, Taiwan.