Articles by Michelle Li

International Law

The Israeli Occupation Revisited

October 4, 2018 Michelle Li 0

December 6, 2017, President Trump announced the decision to move the U.S. embassy to Israel to Jerusalem, formally declaring Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital. This move, again, made a big splash. Historically, both Israelis and Palestinians have claimed Jerusalem to be their capital. The sovereignty to East Jerusalem, part of the West Bank, is especially under dispute between the two peoples. Coincidentally, 2017 also witnessed the 50th anniversary of Israel’s military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, home to approximately six million Palestinians. 50 years has passed but the question remains: Is the Israeli occupation justified by the international law? And if not, which law does it violate? The origins of modern Israel and Palestine: two peoples, one home The root of the modern Israeli-Palestinian conflict lay in the Balfour Declaration that the British government issued in 1926 to state its support for the establishment of a “national home […]

International Law

UNCLOS and the South China Sea Disputes

October 1, 2018 Michelle Li 0

In summer 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague’s rule in terms of China and the Philippines’ territorial disputes in the South China Sea caught worldwide attention. According to the rule, China’s historical claim to the South China Sea, or the “nine-dash line” claim, has no legal basis. Although the tribunal urged China to abide by the United Nations Convention on the Law and the Sea, or the UNCLOS, and to respect neighboring countries’ sovereignties, China replied that it “neither accepts nor recognizes” the court’s award. Almost two years after the ruling, the disputes are still far from being resolved. China has constructed a number of artificial islands in this region and deployed military facilities on them. Despite the rule, the balance of power persists between China, the Philippines, the United States and other regional powers. Several questions therefore arise: if the UNCLOS sets clearcut and undisputed rules […]

International Law

Rohingya Crisis: What the International Community Should and Can Do

October 30, 2017 Michelle Li 0

By Michelle Xinchen Li | October 30, 2017 Summary: Hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas are fleeing from a persecution of the Myanmar Army. The international community is struggling to classify this persecution and take action correspondingly. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas, a Muslim-majority ethnic minority group  in Myanmar, are fleeing across the border amid a mass persecution by the Myanmar Army. As a humanitarian crisis, the persecution has drawn wide criticism. However, from a legal perspective, many questions remain to be addressed: what is the domestic legal basis for the persecution? Does it violate international law? If so, on what grounds should the international community take action? The persecution started in October 2016 when several Rohingya militants attacked and killed nine police officers. The conflict soon triggered a military crackdown against Rohingya people, most of whom live in Rakhine State, a relatively remote region on the Western coast of Myanmar. The […]