Philippines Continues to Build Arbitration Case against China
The Philippines continues to build its case for international arbitration in its dispute with China over China’s claim on and use of the South China Sea. The government in Manila recently submitted more than 3,000 pages of materials to the Permanent Court of Arbitration that it believes support its position that China’s claims to territories and ocean in the South China Sea are incorrect.
At the moment, The Philippines is still trying to simply have the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague given official jurisdiction over the matter. China has worked to deny the court has such jurisdiction even as it asserts it has natural territorial rights over the disputed area, which China has built drilling rigs and military bases over the last few years in an aggressive attempt to establish its claim.
The Court has requested materials from The Philippines explaining why that country believes the Court has jurisdiction, and the recent document submission was designed to bolster this assertion.
China has claimed “indisputable sovereignty” over a large, irregularly-shaped area of the South China Sea reaching as far down as the coast of Malaysia. Many in the international community perceive it as bullying weaker, smaller nations. In addition to The Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam also have laid claim to areas of the sea and have lodged similar protests against China’s recent actions.
China has rejected arbitration and denied that any international court or other entity has jurisdiction on the matter, and has not officially responded to any proceedings or requests from The Hague.