PH pleased by Vietnam’s plan to challenge China
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines is heartened by Vietnam’s plan to challenge China’s sovereignty claims over the South China Sea.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said this was proof the Philippines’ advocacy for the peaceful settlement of maritime disputes was “gaining credence and support.”
“If it comes to pass that another country other than the Philippines brings that issue to the tribunal, then it broadens the base for those that believe and adhere to the rule of law and to the concept of peaceful settlement of disputes,” Coloma said in an interview.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung had said that his country was considering legal action against China.
Two Vietnamese diplomats had said that Hanoi might file its own appeal and join Manila’s legal challenge against Beijing.
Vietnam has tangled with China over the latter’s deployment of an oil platform in waters within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, a move that sparked riots against Chinese nationals across Vietnam.
China claims 90 percent of the 1.35-million square mile South China Sea, while the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan claim parts of it.
The Philippines filed on March 30 a memorandum, also called a memorial, in the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (Itlos), asking it to rule on Beijing’s claims over most of the South China Sea.
It asserted that the Chinese stance was illegal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos), and that it interfered with the Philippines’ sovereign rights to its continental shelf and the part of the South China Sea within its exclusive economic zone, which it calls the West Philippine Sea.
Itlos ordered the Philippines to submit the memorandum after the latter filed a case against China in January 2013.
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