China urges the Philippines on Tuesday to discard the South China Sea disputes filed with the International tribunal at the Hague and rather arrange with Beijing directly before its too late, following the arbitration panel’s most recent request for information from China.
The Philippines has asked the tribunal in The Hague to declare China’s claims to virtually all the South China Sea invalid, saying Beijing’s activities have stomped on the other countries’ rights.
China insisted that the Tribunal doesn’t have jurisdiction and has declined to participate in the case and pursuing that bilateral talks are the best option for both claimants.
The tribunal, which works under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, held a weeklong hearing to completion Monday to address China’s dispute.
It said that Beijing has until Aug. 17 to comment on the hearing and that it should make a ruling on the issue this year.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Tuesday emphasized China’s opposition to the arbitration, and said Beijing “will never acknowledge the unilateral attempts to turn to a third party to solve the disputes.”
”China encourages the Philippines to come back to the right track of resolving disputes through negotiation and consultation,” she said in a statement.
The Philippines applauded the tribunal’s push to nudge China again to join the case, saying the five-man arbitration body has been reasonable, transparent and straightforward in its treatment of Manila’s protests against Beijing.
“We have requested that China takes part and we keep on extending the welcome for them to clarify their side,” Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs representative Charles Jose said by telephone in Manila.
China, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan have been challenging the ownership of the resource-rich South China Sea. The United States and other countries have expressed concerns over China’s island-building in the region that they say has been provocative and has damaged vast coral reefs in the disputed waters. – Jason E.