Arbitral Tribunal decides in favor of Philippines vs. China case over South China Sea
The Philippines won a historic decision by the international arbitral tribunal on the maritime dispute case between Philippines and China which was issued Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 5 p.m.
The three year old arbitration case was first initiated by the Philippines in January 2013 following the tense standoff between Philippine and Chinese vessels at Scarborough shoal, also known as Panatag Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc.
Read more about the case through these articles below:
Read our #InquirerSeven listicle to know the story behind the territorial disputes and arbitration case between the Philippines and China, and what will happen after the UN makes its decision.
The tribunal case that will decide the territorial dispute between the Philippines and China has more far-reaching effects other than resolving who will gain control over a bunch of rocks and reefs, its repercussions may also affect the economic and geopolitical security of the region and the rest of the world.
A year before the UN rules on the arbitration case between the Philippines and China, then Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario questioned the “historic rights” China used as a basis for its claims in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
Read former Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario’s speech to the UN tribunal that outlined the reasons why the Philippines brought its territorial disputes with China to arbitration, and the importance of the case to Southeast Asia and the rest of the world.
Almost a year ago, Associate Justice Antonio Carpio warned of the repercussions should the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) decide that it had no jurisdiction over the arbitration case as China’s nine-dash line encompassed almost the entire West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
Associate Justice Carpio said that the Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal) has always been a part of the Philippines, having been used as an impact range for Philippine and American planes during joint military exercises, after the case was brought to the UN tribunal over two years ago.
A month before the Philippines submitted its arguments to the International Permanent Court of Arbitration two years ago, then Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza said that China’s nine-dash line failed to meet the requirements previously set by the UNCLOS.
Former DFA Spokesperson Raul Hernandez cited international laws and the UNCLOS to assert that China could not project itself beyond its territorial boundaries as Chinese patrols started to prowl the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) two years ago.
Former President Benigno Aquino III assembled a delegation, which included members of the Cabinet security cluster, to the oral arguments in the Hague, which first decided the case of the Philippines vs China a year ago.
Ahead of the results of the UN arbitration, Filipinos took to social media to and referenced the ‘Brexit’ term, coined for Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, in a “#Chexit” campaign to curb Chinese infringement in Philippine territorial waters.
Foreign ministers from other member countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations said they were “seriously concerned” by the developments in the disputed territory months before the arbitration case.
China’s foreign minister voiced the country’s claim on virtually the entirety of the disputed region, and why they won’t permit other nations to infringe in their claimed territorial waters, ahead of the results of the U.N. arbitration.
China remained determined in its defiance of any decisions to be made by the UN arbitration tribunal over its territorial disputes with the Philippines, confident that in terms of territory and resources, it will not lose a thing.
A year before the arbitration case between the Philippines and China over the disputed territory, a Chinese foreign minister claimed that it was the Philippines who caused the disputes in the first place, and that they will not follow the United Nations’ decision on the case.
Chinese state-run media asserted the country’s sovereign claims over its disputed territory with the Philippines and other ASEAN contries, even as US naval patrols close in on islands in the contested seas, ahead of the results of the UN arbitration case.
With a disadvantageous position with the UN arbitration tribunal, China urged the Philippines to return to bilateral negotiations regarding the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
Less than a year ago, China remained firm that it will not give up its claim on the disputed territory and will not follow any decision made by the international Arbitration Tribunal, further accusing the tribunal of violating China’s sovereign rights.
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