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In increasingly fraught dispute over South China Sea islands, Philippines expects favourable ruling

The flashpoint South China Sea hosts major sea lanes over vast mineral reserves.

By: AFP | Manila | Published: July 4, 2015 11:37 am
south China sea, Philippines, China, Spratly Islands, UN south China sea, Philippines south china sea, China disputed islands, China spratly islands Philippines expects UN ruling in its favour over the disputed water regions in South China Sea (Source: Reuters)

The Philippines expects a United Nations tribunal to rule in its favour in an increasingly fraught dispute with China over territories in the South China Sea, a presidential spokeswoman said today.

Manila will argue its position against Beijing’s claim over most of the resource-rich sea at The Hague on July 7 to 13.

China has refused to participate in the arbitration proceedings. The upcoming hearings will decide whether the tribunal has jurisdiction over the case.

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“We prepared a strong case. We believe we stand on strong legal ground,” presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte told government radio.

“We believe the tribunal will look at our case with favour. We are confident of the Philippine position on this matter.”

Philippine foreign secretary Albert del Rosario will lead a government delegation to The Hague, assisted by US-based lawyers, foreign affairs spokesman Charles Jose said.

If the Netherlands-based court decides it has jurisdiction, Jose said the Philippines would be asked to argue the merits of its case in another round of hearings.

“We have prepared well enough for these oral arguments,” Jose told reporters.

The Philippines is among the most vocal critics of China’s South China Sea claims, which also overlap with those of Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei.

Beijing has reinforced its claim by building artificial islands on disputed reefs.

Dwarfed by China in terms of economic and military might, the Philippines has turned to arbitration as it strengthened military alliances with the United States and Japan.

The Philippine navy held separate naval drills with their American and Japanese counterparts last month.

The flashpoint South China Sea hosts major sea lanes over vast mineral reserves.

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  1. M
    mkd
    Jul 4, 2015 at 6:46 pm
    Let support Philippines.
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    Reply
    1. R
      Rufusd
      Jul 5, 2015 at 9:56 pm
      The Philippines is deep in the pocket of the United States which in turn is only interested in encircling China to keep it from projecting its power around the globe as the United States at present does with its military bases around the world including one in the United Kingdom! According to noted commentators , India is also now on the side of the United States and that also explains the growing influence of the India lobby in the US although this lobby apparently has to suck up to the Israeli lobby which is the most powerful lobby in the US. That perhaps explains India's refusal to vote against Israel in the United Nations, one of less than the number of fingers on human hands to do so.
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      1. D
        Devasahayam
        Jul 7, 2015 at 8:37 am
        Good idea, since we already support Vietnam, which gave China a pasting in 1979!
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        1. K
          Kaipulla
          Jul 5, 2015 at 8:20 am
          China is wrong !
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          Reply