PH needs favorable int’l court ruling to force China to back down | Global News

PH needs favorable int’l court ruling to force China to back down

By: - Reporter / @TarraINQ
/ 10:01 AM January 30, 2015


Associate Justice Antonio Carpio. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines needs a favorable ruling from an international body to sway world opinion and compel China to back down and respect maritime boundaries in the disputed South China Sea, a senior magistrate said on Thursday.

In a lecture at the Ateneo Professional Schools on Thursday, Associate Justice Antonio Carpio pressed for clarity in the protracted conflict as he cited the urgency of settling the dispute amid China’s continuing reclamation activities in the disputed area.


The Philippines has filed a case against China before the United Nations arbitral tribunal, seeking to invalidate Beijing’s expansive nine-dash-line claim and stop its incursions into the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).


China has ignored the proceedings, and reiterated its “indisputable sovereignty” over the waters. It has continued with reclamation activities in at least five reefs within the Philippines’ EEZ.

“We need clarity, that’s why our strategy would be do everything to get clarity through compulsory arbitration or, if not, through compulsory conciliation,” said Carpio, referring to the two possible legal remedies to the dispute.

He noted that “there are only two things that can restrain China.” Either Beijing itself backs down—which would be unlikely given its naval buildup investment—or “world opinion would force China to behave,” he said.

“We cannot expect China to restrain itself… We can only hope for world opinion,” said Carpio, a strong defender of Philippine sovereignty, taking to the lectern to lecture on the subject in other academic institutions like the University of the Philippines and the De La Salle University.

“But we cannot go to the world to support our view if there is no ruling by the international body. There has to be ruling by a competent international body. Then world opinion will support us because world opinion will support the rule of law,” he said.

Without a ruling, the dispute would only be a battle of words, he said.


“There has to be a ruling. Before that ruling, it is our word against China,” said Carpio before a jam-packed lecture hall at the Ateneo’s Makati campus.

During the lecture, Carpio again trained the spotlight on Chinese incursions in the disputed Spratlys, a resource-rich area which it contests with the Philippines and four other claimants: Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan.

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He said that while the high seas were supposed to “belong to all mankind,” China has appropriated the high seas.

TAGS: Antonio Carpio, China, EEZ, exclusive economic zone, South China Sea

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