International allies key to upholding arbitral ruling on WPS — think tank | Global News

International allies key to upholding arbitral ruling on WPS — think tank

By: - Reporter / @BPinlacINQ
/ 01:22 PM July 16, 2022

Pag-asa Island, part of the Kalayaan municipality in the West Philippine Sea

RAISE THE FLAG Members of the Philippine Navy plant the Philippine flag on one of four sandbars rising from the sea within the territorial waters of Pag-asa Island, part of the Kalayaan municipality in the West Philippine Sea. China claims the sandbars, sending its coast guard to keep Filipinos away from the emerging islands. —MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

MANILA, Philippines — Joining forces with like-minded international allies is crucial in asserting the country’s sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea, according to think tank Stratbase ADR Group.

Recently, China again undermined the historic ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) which favored the Philippines and rejected China’s nine-dash line claim over the disputed waters.


But Stratbase founder and president Victor Andres Manhit said the Philippines should fight back by forging alliances with other countries and organizations willing to help defend its territorial rights.


“With our collective will and effort, we must not allow any blatant disregard of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea or the rule of law by any state,” he said in a statement.

This echoes a sentiment earlier introduced in a Stratbase-sponsored Pulse Asia survey which showed that most Filipinos agree that the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. should “form alliances with other countries” to uphold the country’s claim over the Philippine waters.

READ: Survey: 89% say Marcos should assert WPS ruling

Manhit noted that the landmark PCA ruling in 2016 “legally transformed our maritime claims into a territorial right.”

“It is clear that the West Philippine Sea is ours,” he said.

He then added, “The Philippines has every right to exercise sovereignty over its maritime territory. Our maritime vessels have the right to patrol our waters without being threatened. Our scientists have the right to conduct research in the West Philippine Sea without being closely observed. Our fishermen have the right to fish in the waters safely and without fear.”


Manhit also pointed out that representatives from other countries and international institutions have already backed the country’s claim over the West Philippine Sea in respect to international law.

“The Philippines recognizes the efforts made by its partners and allies in the Indo-Pacific to promote a peaceful and stable region for all. Indeed, fostering multilateral and inclusive cooperation through alliances and strategic partnerships is the most viable solution to maintaining a rules-based international order,” he further explained.

During the sixth anniversary of the PCA ruling last July 12, both the United States and Australia renewed their call for China to obey the PCA decision.

“We call again on the PRC (People’s Republic of China) to abide by its obligations under international law and cease its provocative behavior,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

He also renewed their commitment to “work with allies and partners, as well as regional institutions like ASEAN, to protect and preserve the rules-based order.”

Meanwhile, Australian envoy to the Philippines Steven Robinson made a similar remark on Twitter when he underscored the need to comply with the ruling and uphold international rules as it is “fundamental to peace, prosperity and stability in our region.”


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TAGS: arbitral ruling, China, Dindo Manhit, West Philippine Sea

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