Bilateral talks with China becoming impossible – DFA

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DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Accept that we own the entire South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) before we talk.

That was gist of “the Chinese unequivocal message” on the territorial dispute with the Philippines over the West Philippine Sea (WPS) despite several attempts at negotiations, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez told reporters Monday.

“It has, therefore, become impossible to continue bilateral discussion on disputes in the WPS with China on the basis of this rigid position,” Hernandez said.

“This led us to finally resort to arbitration under Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Seas (UNCLOS),” he said.

The DFA’s statement was in response to another statement by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs that said “the Philippine’s claim that it had exhausted almost all political and diplomatic avenues for a peaceful settlement of dispute is completely not true.”

Hernandez said that their statement was baseless and he enumerated the many attempts of the Philippines to settle the dispute.

“Since intrusions in the Bajo de Masinloc (Panatag Shoal or Scarborough Shoal) started in April 2012 alone, we have had nearly fifty consultations with China,” he said.

The DFA had officially asked China to bring the issue “to a dispute settlement mechanism to resolve the issue on a long-term basis” through a note verbale dated April 26, 2012.

Hernandez said that China replied that it was a “none ground” issue and told the Philippines to “refrain from any infringement on China’s territorial sovereignty.”

“Secretary Albert F. del Rosario visited Beijing three times with an invitation for the Chinese Foreign Minister to visit Manila for consultations. Up to now, we are awaiting a favorable response to our renewed invitations,” Hernandez said.

“In all of these dialogues, China has consistently maintained its hard line position of ‘indisputable sovereignty’ over the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea, based on historical facts,” he said.

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  • Patikotiko

    Its Useless to talk to Communist China, just prepare and buy missile, warships and jet fighters and lets show them that we will give them the fight that they are asking for…..

  • Phoinex

    Scrap the Pork Barrel and use the money in purchasing defense arsenal for our Armed Forces.

  • SaintJames2011

    Anti-secrecy Group WikiLeaks stated the following;

    Chinese authorities have failed to identify specific historical evidence backing Beijing’s claims that it owns disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea, a confidential US embassy cable published by anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said.

    Cable 08BEIJING3499, sent to Washington by the US embassy in Beijing in September 9, 2008, said a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) official and a local scholar could not identify specific historical records to justify China’s “Nine Dashes” claim that covers the whole Spratlys and areas within other countries’ exclusive economic zones (EEZs).

    MFA Department of Treaty and Law Oceans and Law of the Sea Division Deputy Director Yin Wenqiang told a US embassy political officer on August 30, 2008 that “China has indisputable sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea and the adjacent waters.”

    However, the US official said “Yin admitted he is not aware of the historical basis for the ‘Nine Dashes'” and only mentioned unspecified “Chinese historical documents” that indicate the basis for China’s claims on territory west of the Philippines, according to the cable.

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