I. The Indian 123 Agreement does not contain a sentence found in Article 2.1 of China's 123 agreement with the US, namely that "the parties recognise, with respect to the observance of this agreement, the principle of international law that provides that a party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty." Thus, the US administration can always claim the Hyde Act's restrictions trump the 123 Agreement commitments.
Government: India had an identical line in all the drafts and tried till the end to incorporate it in the final agreed text. But the US remained unyielding, claiming that Congress would shoot it down. But the Indian side did manage to push through another article, 16.4, that the agreement "shall be implemented in good faith and in accordance with the principles of international law."
The phrase "principles of international law" is a clear reference to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Article 27 of the Convention, which, as a part of customary international law, does not have to be cited to be applicable, states: "A party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty."
Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Hu Jintao wave before the start of the G5 meeting in Sapporo on July 8 on Hokkaido island.
Photograph: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images
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