Beijing Prepared to Negotiate if Manila Ignores Arbitration Ruling Concerning South China Sea
China has stated it will negotiate with the Philippines concerning the South China Sea issues if its government is willing to ignore the upcoming arbitration ruling. The dispute escalated when the Philippines brought the case to The Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration. A decision is expected July 12.
The dispute calls into question China’s claim to the majority of the South China Sea. The body of water sees $5 trillion in trade pass through it each year. China announced its plan to ignore the ruling, also snubbing the international legal order.
China and the Philippines are not the only ones staking claims to the South China Sea. Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei all have claims against China. Beijing rejected the arbitration case and claimed there was no jurisdiction. It claimed it wanted to settle the issue bilaterally and recently ramped up its propaganda about the outcome of the case.
Negotiations between the Philippines and China would cover issues including joint development and cooperation for scientific research. China called for Manila to ignore the arbitration ruling and stated it would be a substantive approach.
According to China’s Foreign Ministry, both China and Manila agreed in 1995 to settle disputes related to the South China Sea in a friendly and peaceful manner with mutual respect. There have already been numerous disputes concerning maritime disputes between the two, but so far no negotiations have addressed the dispute in the South China Sea. According to a law professor at the China Institute of Boundary and Ocean Studies at Wuhan University, “… the tribunal has no jurisdiction over the dispute.”