EU backs PH move to bring sea dispute to UN


MANILA, Philippines—The European Parliament has expressed support for the Philippine decision to take China before the United Nations’ (UN) arbitral tribunal to settle disputes in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Tuesday.

In a statement sent late Tuesday afternoon, the DFA said the European body adopted a resolution on March 14 “approving a report which included its support for the Philippines’ arbitration initiative.”

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario welcomed Europe’s support, calling it a “milestone” in the Philippines’ international campaign for support for the arbitration initiative.

The report by the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs on European Union-China relations also called on China “to commit itself to observing the UN Charter and international law in pursuit of its goals abroad,” the DFA said.

In its report, the European Parliament called for calm among nations entangled in the dispute over the West Philippine Sea and urged them to use the mechanism of international arbitration, as provided under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos), to settle conflicting claims.


Citing the sea’s importance as an international trade route, the European Parliament said it “is alarmed at the escalating tension and therefore urgently appeals to all parties involved to refrain from unilateral political and military actions.”

The report further asked parties involved “to tone down statements and to settle their conflicting territorial claims in the South China Seas by means of international arbitration in accordance with international law, in particular the Unclos, in order to ensure regional stability.”

The Philippines initiated the arbitration move against China on Jan. 22, asking the UN to halt Chinese incursions into established Philippine maritime boundaries in the West Philippine Sea.

The legal action also sought to invalidate the Chinese nine-dash-line claim over the waters, which encroaches into the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

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  • Matt Lee

    No where in the EU statement does it specifically state it supports Philippine’s action. Furthermore, it appeals to ALL parties to refrain from UNILATERAL political and military action. The current Philippine action is unilateral, it didn’t even consult with the other ASEAN countries, especially the ones with overlapping claims. When it mentions international arbitration between ALL parties, it did not mention UNLCOS. The quotes in the article are blatant twists and propaganda. Some parts of the quote are real, others are add ons. Maybe that’s why no link to the actual EU resolution or statement.

    The same resolution also calls on the US to help in avoiding tension and an arms race with its “pivot” perceived as a threat. Want to mention that? Nah….doesn’t work in your favor.

    • Iris2

      Del Rosario is a manipulater. He though the world is fool.

      It is very unfortunate that when PH is at best time to develop economy and crush poverty, her foreign policy is full of agressiveness and extremism.

      History will judge.

      • martial_law_baby

        流口水的婊子和猴子的笨兒子 ・ Liou coe shway duh biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh ur-tze . You should address your comment to your government. Oh, I know, you are not even free to criticize your own government even though corruption is so rampant and your own people is being screwed by your own Communist Party and the PLA. What a loser.

      • Crazy_horse101010

        cant understand your english is the world a fool or del rosario. history has already judged and china has been found lacking how many dear friends does china have except north korea at least the philippines hasnt taken over tibet

      • giltor


      • Cano Manuel

        History will vomit your stupidity and hypocrisy.

      • $26149191

        del Rosario is a briny one. you don’t have to be big,powerful, or whatever. it is a matter of respct and recognition of international law, which china is far away from that.

      • lourda

        I live here in Europe, what you’re saying is the opposite…the European sender is always pointing out about the agressive claims and Lies of your China…showing about your baseless and absurd 9 Dash Line…your China is now having a negative position in every way.

    • ChinaObserver

      Number 46 of the EU resolution reads, verbatim: “Underlines the global importance of the South China Sea, through which one third of the world’s trade passes; is alarmed at the escalating tension and therefore urgently appeals to all the parties involved to refrain from unilateral political and military actions, to tone down statements and to settle their conflicting territorial claims in the South China Sea by
      means of international arbitration in accordance with international law, in particular the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, in order to ensure regional stability.” Yes indeed, it mentions UNCLOS! Seeking international arbitration is neither POLITICAL nor MILITARY. It is a mechanism allowed by UN for a particular member to seek redress especially if it’s being bullied by another. At present, there is a Chinese military ship in Scarborough Shoal which is rightfully within Philippine EEZ. That, my friend, is what a MILITARY unilateral action is, not the Philippine move of seeking arbitration!

      • Matt Lee

        Thanks for actually identifying the point number as this media never lifts a finger on referencing sources. Here is the quote verbatim on Text adopted by Parliament, single reading, 2012/2137(INI) -14/03/2013.

        “Parliament underlines the global importance of the South China Sea, through which one third of the world’s trade passes and is alarmed at the escalating tension. It urgently appeals to all the parties involved to refrain from unilateral political and military actions, to tone down statements and to settle their conflicting territorial claims in the South China Sea by means of international arbitration.”

        So you see, depending on which doc one finds online, no mention of UNCLOS in this one. What the Philippines is currently seeking is completely unilateral and when first presented months ago, it said it wasn’t trying to identify territorial claims. My quote or your quote on the EU both mentions settling territorial claims. So what the Philippines is submitting is political, it didn’t bother applying for arbitration where ALL parties were summoned. Honestly, how can one even settle when all parties are not present to reach consensus? I would give more weight to what the Philippines is claiming as support from the EU if it already has all the other claimants on board with arbitration. Right now, it is unilateral

        You reference Scarborough but who decided to sail in a naval flagship to make what should be some routine arrests? Who decided to drop a match into the keg of gunpowder? Is it a Chinese military ship or a coast guard ship currently on watch? The latter is not military. Big difference. Also, who’s been spending months making statements? The EU is asking to tone it down cuz it ain’t helping.

      • ChinaObserver

        However you slice and dice it Matt, the whole world is awakening to the fact that China is bullying its neighbors. You can interpret EU’s opinion to suit your arguments but it’s obvious to the objective observer that China’s claim of the whole South China Sea/West Philippine Sea is untenable. As per Clinton, it is “excessive.” You cited the Philippine move as unilateral because “it didn’t even consult with the other ASEAN countries, especially the ones with overlapping claims”. But you have forgotten to apply the same to China who only want to solve its territorial disputes bilaterally. Bilateral Matt, one-on-one. It does not want to “internationalize” it. China can only deal with smaller nations, one-on-one, that it can bully. It is the Philippines that has been attempting to “internationalize” it, and China cries foul. It is obvious that international opinion will readily side with the law-based settlement that the Philippines proposes and China knows it can’t win. Thus, bilateral means.

      • Matt Lee

        I have not forgotten that China prefers bilateral, did I ever say in my previous posts that the EU report supports China? There is no slicing and dicing by me, rather I find the Philippines that is trying to interpret every little thing as pro-Philippines when it ain’t. Remember last year when the Philippines was upset that ASEAN could not come to a consensus? That it couldn’t come together and take a multilateral approach? So what happened with this quest for arbitration? Why did it become unilateral all of a sudden? Why isn’t the Philippines simply naming all the claimants and taking all of them to court? Isn’t that truly internationalizing it? Could it be that it’s disadvantageous to the Philippines? It’s laughable that so many here try to portray the Philippines on some noble mission when all its doing is merely the same things other countries are doing, no different. You claim the other side puts out propaganda? So does the Philippines. The other side exploits loopholes where possible? So does the Philippines. Law? International norm? Yet how many times when Filipino OFWs have violated laws aboard, we get oodles of articles stating the Philippines should use its influence to help change the rules for those lawbreakers. Right…….it’s only about law so long as the Philippines benefits. Spending some time here, that’s the image the Philippines has projected to the world.

        You may be aware but there’s recent news of more pangolins being smuggled, except this time, it’s by Filipinos themselves. If it was your hated Chinese, it be front pages multiple times over. You know that’s the truth, that’s how this media runs it. Bad news about Filipinos, small mention, quick rotation out of front page. Good news about Filipinos or bad news on “enemies”, long exposure on front page and rewrite the article many times over with maybe one or two new lines. So when you say the world is awakening, it’s a two way street. You won’t find media in other parts of the world with such a heavy handed agenda.

  • pugadlawin

    The Philippines does it what it can to protect its territory. What it lacks in arms, it tries to compensate by trying to get support from the world for China to respect international laws.
    Under UNCLOS, Spratlys is under the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

    • Matt Lee

      Negative, under UNCLOS, Spratlys has its own EEZ, not Philippines’ EEZ. Taiping Island is the only island there with natural fresh water, it can fully sustain human life on its own and generates its own EEZ.

      • martial_law_baby

        You really are stupid. Is Spratlys an independent state to get its own EEZ? You are as stupid as your own governments Nine Dash Line. You can only pick on the Philippines because it is a small country. If you are so powerful, why can’t you even reclaim Taiwan which you call a renegade province. Oh yeah, Taiwan has the military hardware to beat the crap out of your country. Cowards!

      • Matt Lee

        Blah blah blah, who occupies Taiping Island? Not the Philippines. It’s hilarious how you twist every argument to justify Filipino invasion of the Spratlys. You can’t even argue straight, when did I say Spratlys have to belong to China specifically? Spratlys belonging to Taiwan is fine, it just doesn’t belong to the Philippines. Trying to claim territory via EEZ is sheer stupidity as it shows you don’t grasp the concept of what EEZ is. Actually, please go file a case with the UN claiming territory based on EEZ, it will be amusing to the rest of the world.

        As for the coward accusation, I don’t see the Philippines mounting any assault themselves, always wanting others to do the dirty work. You’re nowhere brave yourself.

      • martial_law_baby

        Blah Blah Blah. You are the one twisting the argument, pretending to know everything yet you are really stupid. Spratlys belongs to the Philippines that’s why the issue was brought to the UN. If China thinks the Spratlys belongs to them, then why don’t you apply an EEZ to the UN. Because we both know the answer. Your argument will not stand the scrutiny of the UNCLOS. Nine dash line your butt.

        You’re the one who cant answer straight. Why don’t your government reclaim Taiwan? Because we both know the answer. Taiwan’s gonna beat the crap out of you. That’s why you can only pick on the countries like Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines. Cowards cowards cowards! China is the biggest land grabber in the world. From Xinjiang, Ledakh, Tibet, Sekanku, Paracels and Spratlys. You thief!

        Must be paying good being a paid commenter of the PLA, ha? Yet you are not even free. You only know what your masters want you to know, you slaves! 流口水的婊子和猴子的笨兒子 ・ Liou coe shway duh biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh ur-tze

      • nicosan fopalan

        lol.. taiwan isn’t even a country…

      • pfc_kulapu

        Tanga, wag ka nang sumali.. di mona gets ang point ni martial….

      • Matt Lee

        Oooo using a translator and more name calling, the ways of the brave huh? As I said, go claim territory based on EEZ and see what other nations will say to you. That’s the easiest way to prove me wrong on that one. Now you need to fall back on your excuses, that I’m a paid commentator, that I need to retake Taiwan, etc etc. Which govt is mine? Are you ASSuming? Talk about thieves, relinquish Thitu, all talk. Let those in Mindanao be independent then, why the continued suppression? Yeah, cuz it’s easy to point fingers at others.

      • martial_law_baby

        Still no intelligent argument, no straight answer, really stupid. Philippines already filed an arbitration case with UN. This is a step to the claim of EEZ. Unlike your stupid country, Philippines takes its step at a time because we are mindful and respectful of other countries opinion, and because we are civilized people. Unlike you who are bullies but can only afford to pick a fight with smaller countries. You cant pick a fight with Japan, India or US or even Taiwan. Because they can put up a fight with you. Where is your response to that? You don’t have any because you are all admittedly cowards! . Philippines asked China to seek arbitration for a peaceful solution and you can’t even agree on that because you know you will lose. And what did you do? You cut our exports to your country, what a very brave response. Cowards. And don’t teach us about our history because you are an idiot. The situation in Mindanao refers to a handful of people who shares beliefs with other terrorist all over the world. It is not the same as the people of Xinjiang and Tibet who even burn themselves because they have been abused by your government for so long. Chinese are all stupid.

      • Matt Lee

        Still can’t argue your way out of trying to claim territory via EEZ huh lol. Lengthy replies but so little substance from you.

      • martial_law_baby

        stupid. read my response again it’s all there in the first 5 sentences. Oh I forgot, you can’t read it because your government doesnt allow you to read it. Hell, you cant even take a dump unless your government allows it. You are all slaves you cant even make an intelligent response. We need to give you lengthy response because you have difficulty understanding the situation. Or you understand it but your government doesnt want to. Or perhaps they are blocking your access to the internet. Poor slaves.

      • lourda

        Don’t forget, they are the so called 50 cents brigade, they were assigned to do this job, to provoke our comments, whatever it is, they will always bring an absurdness arguments, that is their job.

      • $26149191

        I advised u to tell that to your government o that they will know it. china will starving by that.

      • $26149191

        no problem bout taiwn…. but at least the big fat pig is out.

      • Jay Ramos

        Pretending to be smart but you are not…but just insisting your foolish reasoning to justify china’s bad behavior by claiming what is ours!

      • neverlosehope


      • $26149191

        spratly has eez. so china has nothing to but a thief.

      • Matt Lee

        So you have Philippines the thief crying foul at China when Spratly’s EEZ is Taiwan’s. However you view Taiwan’s status, it’s crystal clear it’s not Filipino.

      • $26149191

        Taiwan eez is including paracels. so china still the thief.

      • foreignerph

        You have a very vivid fantasy. Since when is “natural fresh water” a benchmark for sovereignty? An EEZ can only be established by a sovereign nation, not by an uninhabited island in the open seas. As it happens, Taiping island and most other Spratly islands are within the 200 nm EEZ zone of the PH. The distance to the PH is 199 nm, to Taiwan it is 780 nm, to Vietnam 315 nm and to Hainan (China) 540 nm. Recent occupations, like the Taiwanese occupation of Taiping don’t count.

        The nine-dashed line is of course a Chinese fantasy, so let’s not talk about it. The issue has been brought before UNCLOS so let’s see how it rules, but I’d rather be careful about the EU. It doesn’t have any meaningful warships but it has the tendency to choose for the underdog. It has less debt and a smaller budget deficit than the US, and China lives by its exports.

        Don’t wake up a sleeping dog that might request – in case of a conflict – that the West Philippine Sea is broken up for exploitation just like the North Sea continental shelf was broken up. That means along lines halfway every shore. In that case China (and certainly Taiwan) will have almost nothing and Vietnam and the PH will have most.

        Don’t be too arrogant… especially since none of your points make legal sense.

      • Matt Lee

        Speaking of fantasy, let’s review your comments. Taiping is within PH EEZ at 199 nm? How convenient. Measuring on google maps shows it beyond the 200 nm and it’s measured from baselines. You’re the one espousing fantasy logic, territory can never be claimed by using an EEZ. That’s why I say you folks don’t have a clue on what UNCLOS provides, there’s no arrogance involved, it’s just calling you out for being wrong because you are.

        Taiwan, ROC, occupied the area immediately after WW2. It’s not recent, only recent according to your argument. UNCLOS III did not even come into existence till 1980s and that’s the version that provides your current EEZ definitions. UNCLOS does not override what existed beforehand. They’ve demonstrated sovereignty having maintained a presence for the last 60+ years and evicting foreign intruders such as Clomas. That’s the benchmark for sovereignty, I never said natural fresh water was the benchmark for sovereignty That’s your fantasy interpretation. Natural fresh water provides the ability for Taiping to sustain human life independently and that is a benchmark for an island to generate it’s own EEZ. So Taiping Island would be the only island in the Spratlys that can have it’s own EEZ. Draw a 200 nm around it and it shrinks your Philippine EEZ dramatically, at the very least there will have to be a equal distant EEZ line between Taiping and the Philippines so quit being so arrogant that your EEZ rules over everything. If it did, you would have to reckon with Malaysia and Indonesia, clearly your EEZ lines down there don’t extend 200 nm and theirs don’t extend up 200 nm.

        I don’t expect to win friends in this debate but I actually made the most legal sense. Go review UNCLOS yourself. And stop tossing the US or EU as your counterpoint, it’s so typical that when the argument doesn’t work in your favor, you start looking for a gang up mentality as resolution. The EU is actually hanging by the thread going from one currency crisis to the next. If they implode, the US is no position to weather that either.

    • joboni96

      tuloy ang pagpalakas ng depensa
      capable affordable appropriate defense

      pro pilipino that develops pilipino economy and technology
      not pocket enlarging, vendor driven purchases


      start with astig pro pilipino mindset
      specially in colonized dnd and afp

    • joboni96

      magsakripisyo para

      1. develop a consensus with brunei
      and malaysia on eez boundaries
      – minimal contention areas

      2. tuloy pagpalakas ng depensa
      on our own pro pilipino design
      minus imperialist u.s.

      3. pro pilipino defense that strengthens the pilipino economy
      pilipino technology and pilipino capital

  • $18209031

    Black propaganda. EU is lame duck in matters of South China Sea. They are not privy to the dispute so they are not part of the discussion. This is not even considered news but heresay.

    • ChinaObserver

      It’s not hearsay if you’ve read the EU resolution. But it’s obvious you haven’t. No matter how you slice and dice it, the whole world is beginning to take notice that China is bullying its neighbors!

    • Jose Cruz

      We need a translator to enlighten our befuddled foreign correspondents. Ha ha ha ha !

    • pfc_kulapu

      Chita Eh Sta. Romana (aka AFPAki, INteliling ng 11th IB kuno)
      Tanda Tuyo na Utak mo…
      Ikaw ang gumawa ng black propaganda dito…
      black conscience kapa.. do you think chinese ka, anak ka ng kayumangmang.
      ang nanay mo naging kabit lang ng intsik kaya akala mo intsik kana rin…

      Tanda Na TANGA…
      ako ang langaw ng puwet mo….

      • $18209031

        pfc kurakot santa maria de padua, kumusta na ang ating racket dyan sa paligid? pfc kuno pero mangungutong pala. Makabayan daw pero patay gutom pala kahit langaw kinakain.

    • $26149191

      Without the european South Chimpanzee sea is nowhere.

  • victor1052

    EU supporting the Philippines on the Spratleys issue? When the Japanese foreign minister went to Britain, Germany,and France last year to drum up support for its claim to the diaoyu/senkaku islands after getting a neutral response from the Americans, he got cold reception. No support as the Japanese had hoped.

    • notmeitsthedog

      Well, maybe because the support we got from EU is for seeking resolution thru the intl arbitration while the Japanese was already seeking recognition of ownership over the islands.

    • pfc_kulapu

      you are in titled for your own stupidity…

      • victor1052

        What do you mean? Your poor grammar is bewildering. You must be one of those stubborn braggart who swipes at anybody who differs from your opinion. Nonetheless, you are ENTITLED TO your own stupidity.

  • jacel_itim_na_puso

    Who are you fooling, Mr. Del Rosario? Everyone knows the oil rich Spratlys belong to Sultan of Sulu. And we Tausugs has never been and will never be the subject of your corrupt Philippines!

    • pfc_kulapu


  • PurpleDaisy13

    NewsFlash: “A year after Panatag stand-off, shoal firmly controlled by China

    China would win against the Philippines as soon as the Philippine
    Administration chose to be “duwag” and allow China to exercise
    effective occupation and jurisdiction. I told ‘ya so.

    Meanwhile, 1000+ anti-Malaysian forces fighting in Malaysia’s North
    Borneo (Eastern Sabah) War Zone
    are doing
    just that…Exercising effective occupation and jurisdiction on their
    territorial land of North Borneo (Eastern Sabah).

    Scarborough Shoal may have been lost to China, but North Borneo (Eastern Sabah) is
    now being fought for. And it’s worth so much more than Scarborough
    Shoal….at least $6,200,000,000 (billion) A YEAR in oil alone.

    • heehe hahaa

      The 1000+ anti-Malaysian forces are just your imaginary friends.

    • pfc_kulapu

      Pokpokdaisy (aka US citizen kuno, US Taxpayer kuno, MCDO staff kuno).
      Back to business…
      hanapbuhay uli…
      welcome back, DAKILANG PATAY GUTOM…

      • $18209031

        pfc kurakot , anong ulam natin ngayon? Patay gutom pa ba rin?

    • jpastor


  • notmeitsthedog

    Good! We don’t need to escalate the situation into an armed conflict on our own. We all know that the chinese will not stop until they occupy the whole WPS. It will have to confront malaysia, singapore and brunei, and by that time, australia and u.s. would already have felt threatened as well.

  • Cano Manuel

    Will china even sit down and settle the issue with other claimants? I don’t think so. It is written in their stupid art of war: “Kung hindi madadala sa santong dasalan, daanin sa santong paspasan”.

    • Matt Lee

      Has Aquino even tried? It’s one thing to say he tried discussing and could not come to an agreement but another to just keep complaining and not trying all channels. You can be skeptical that sitting down and discussing would amount to anything but at least you can then claim that avenue was exhausted. So far, it has not been touched.

      You can say Art of War is stupid but so far, it’s listed on the US Marine Corps Professional Reading Program and a requirement for the CIA. Guess Americans are stupid for subscribing.

      • $26149191

        obsolete art of war of zun tzu… tzungoy!!!!

      • Cano Manuel

        So far as I know, china has never entered that channel as they are aware they are at the losing end. No matter what kind of technical maneuvering china does, the truth will always remain that china is a land-grabbing, imperialist, hypocritical nation of thieves.

      • Matt Lee

        Hasn’t entered because the Philippines doesn’t want to. Land grabbing? Just look at the Philippines with the recent Sabah invasion. Either Kiram is Filipino or not. So either the Philippines officially renounces all claims to Sabah or it reluctantly approves the invasion. Since it remained ambiguous, it’s really the latter.

      • Cano Manuel

        Sabbah has nothing to do with Spratly’s or the Paracel Islands. I suppose you are slanting to Malaysia on the Sabbah issue because you are anti-Philippines.

        The point here is china’s maneuvering, “silent bullying”, and imperialism. In addition to that, china steals technology, destroys ecosystem and the republic is not really of the people but to control the people. They lie now and later on gives everyone a shock.

      • Matt Lee

        I bring up the Sabah issue as yet another example where the Philippines hasn’t really handled the matter in a clear cut way. You’ve made several replies but underlying it all, when it comes to your initial remark about whether China will sit down and settle, the Philippines hasn’t exactly tried simply engaging in a 1:1 discussion just to see where it goes. As I already said, there’s nothing to lose in the scenario because all that’s being done is simply seeing what’s on the table and there’s de-escalation. So far, the Philippines has engaged in a confrontational tone with its rhetoric. That just leads to a confrontational reply. That’s not unique to the situation. Case in point, NK raises its rhetoric, SK/US provides a confrontational reply themselves.

        Now you’ve started your slant on the China bashing. Things that actually do happen with other countries as well. Stealing technology, yep,happens with other nations. Just look at Samsung ripping off Apple. Destroys ecosystem, yep, same with other countries.You should look up pics of Los Angeles in the 1950s with its smog. Bad political system. Yep, other countries got them too. The Philippines is often cited for human rights abuse themselves. But what does all that have to do with the issue of territorial claims? You think if China had a different political system, treehugging eco policy, and no tech espionage, all of a sudden this territorial dispute goes away? If that was simply the case, why does the Philippines also have the territorial disputes with multiple entities – Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan?

      • Cano Manuel

        Blah blah blah. What can I say, “like china, like matt lee”.

      • Matt Lee

        Sounds like you’re out of things to say, oh well……

      • Cano Manuel

        I do, but you are likely to dismiss them again. So what’s the point?

        Like I said, like china, like matt lee.

        PS. I’ve had enough of all the bullsh*t china does.

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