My Letter to the Editor, NY Times

To the Editor:

South China Sea and the Rule of Law” (editorial, July 13), about China and the South China Sea arbitration, lacks only one important point. Surprisingly, you don’t mention that the United States, while urging all Asian states to respect the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea dispute-resolution institutions, has itself shamefully failed to ratify Unclos, something China did 20 years ago.

This puts us in the position of “do as we say, not as we do,” insulating us from similar challenges and denying us the opportunity to begin similar challenges.

It’s like a swimming coach who exhorts the swimmers but dares not wet his own feet!


New York

The writer is a professor and director of the U.S.-Asia Law Institute, New York University School of Law.