Malacañang on Sunday denounced China’s refusal to take part in a proceeding to resolve the disputes in the South China Sea, filed before the Permanent Court of Arbitration, an international organization based in the Peace Palace, The Hague.
“The participation of the Philippines in international arbitration proceedings of the arbitration court is a strong adherence to the principles enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea or Unclos,” said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.
“This is due to the promotion of our country of a rules-based approach towards the peaceful resolution of issues concerning maritime entitlement claims in the West Philippine Sea,” said Coloma.
“In our perspective, being part of the international community, China could show its compliance with Unclos, which is one of the signatories and other similar international laws, through its participation or participating in arbitration,” said Coloma Jr.
“The Philippines is not alone in believing the country is justified in the filing of the petition before the arbitral tribunal. Many countries including the following: United States, Great Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan; expressed promoting the principles of peace, security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, and resistance to what they called ‘intimidating, coercive or provocative unilateral actions that could alter the status quo and increase tensions’ in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea, Coloma said.
Beijing earlier lashed out at the South China Sea tribunal and refused to participate in the case.
An international arbitration tribunal abused its powers and acted unjustly by taking up Manila’s case against Beijing over their South China Sea dispute, China has said in its latest attempt to justify why it refused to take part in the proceedings or accept the impending ruling.
Senior diplomat Xu Hong said at a media briefing earlier that the tribunal’s five judges had “rushed” to hear the case without examining the link between Manila’s claims and territorial sovereignty.
The Philippines has submitted claims in three areas: clarifying the legality of China’s nine-dash line that covers a large swathe of the South China Sea; the status of Chinese-occupied features such as reefs and their maritime entitlements; and China’s activities in what the Philippines considers its exclusive economic zone.
Xu pointed out how the Philippine Foreign Ministry, a day after taking the case to the United Nations in January 2013, had explicitly said the purpose was “to protect (its) national territory and maritime domain” and talked about not surrendering its national sovereignty.
“Even the Philippines itself has laid bare its actual objective, so why did the Arbitral Tribunal turn a deaf ear?”, said Xu, director-general of the Foreign Ministry’s Treaties and Law department.
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