7 countries send observers to monitor PH case vs China
Seven countries, including claimants Malaysia and Vietnam, have sent observers to the second round of arguments in the case that the Philippines brought against China in a United Nations arbitral court in The Netherlands over their territorial dispute in the South China Sea.
Indonesia, officially not a claimant in the South China Sea but has asked China to clarify its claims to nearly all of the strategic waterway, has also sent a delegation to the hearings in The Hague.
While the court decided not to open the hearing to the public, it has allowed interested parties to send observers.
Allowed to send observers to the hearings were Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
In an earlier interview on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit held in Manila last week, Japanese officials expressed support for the Philippines’ arbitration case.
“Japan supports the approach because it is peaceful and it is based on international law,” Yasuhisa Kawamura, Japan’s press secretary and spokesperson for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, told a news briefing.
China has refused to take part in the proceedings, reiterating Wednesday that it will not accept any ruling by the tribunal.
The oral arguments will end on or before Nov. 30, the tribunal said.
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