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US urges respect for South China Sea ruling

/ 08:16 AM July 08, 2016
In this May 1, 2016, file photo, an illuminated globe shows the South China Sea at a museum in Pathumthani, Thailand. Five judges of a U.N. tribunal will deliver July 12, 2016 their landmark ruling on South China Sea disputes - and Beijing is already dismissing a potentially unfavorable outcome. The Permanent Court of Arbitration will decide on a 2013 case filed by the Philippines, which asked the court to declare China's territorial claims that encompass most of the South China Sea invalid because they infringe upon the country's own 200-mile exclusive economic zone. AP FILE PHOTO

In this May 1, 2016, file photo, an illuminated globe shows the South China Sea at a museum in Pathumthani, Thailand. Five judges of a U.N. tribunal will deliver July 12, 2016 their landmark ruling on South China Sea disputes – and Beijing is already dismissing a potentially unfavorable outcome. The Permanent Court of Arbitration will decide on a 2013 case filed by the Philippines, which asked the court to declare China’s territorial claims that encompass most of the South China Sea invalid because they infringe upon the country’s own 200-mile exclusive economic zone. AP FILE PHOTO

WASHINGTON, United States — The United States on Thursday urged respect for a decision on territorial disputes in the South China Sea set to be handed down by an international arbitration court next week.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Dutch city of The Hague is set to make its final decision on Tuesday in the case between the Philippines and China.

“We urge both parties to comply with the ruling and urge all claimants to avoid provocative actions or statements,” Abraham Denmark, the senior Pentagon official responsible for East Asia, told a congressional hearing about the decision, already rejected in advance by Beijing.

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READ: China envoy visits Duterte 5 days before UN ruling

China claims almost the entire sea — strategically important for world maritime trade — where the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have claims.

Although Washington is not directly part of the territorial disputes, it has urged they be resolved through diplomacy, not Chinese force.

Beijing has artificially enlarged islets and reefs to build runways, ports and other installations to legitimize its claims.

The United States has meanwhile boosted its military presence in the region, addressing neighboring countries’ concerns about China’s actions. Washington has also strengthened its defense alliances with the Philippines, Vietnam and other countries.

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan is currently patrolling the sea.

“We will provide critical support for diplomacy by providing a credible deterrent against the use of force,” Denmark said.

Chinese media on Tuesday said Beijing is ready for a “military confrontation” with the United States in the region.

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The new Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, earlier this week proposed dialogue with China following the court’s decision next week, offering discussions about issues such as setting up joint ventures for sharing resources in the disputed waterway.

READ: China tells US: There’s price to pay in sea row

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TAGS: China, Diplomacy, Philippines, South China Sea, US
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