Manila is taking a tough stand on the South China Sea again, Reuters reports:
China will be the ‘loser’ if it does not recognize an international court ruling against its territorial claims in the South China Sea, Philippine Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay said on Tuesday.
An arbitration court in The Hague infuriated China in July when it ruled that China had no historical title over the South China Sea and it had breached the Philippines’ sovereign rights.
China has ignored the ruling that none of its claims in the disputed Spratly Islands entitled it to a 200-mile (320 km) exclusive economic zone. Its construction work on reefs there has alarmed other claimants, as well the United States and Japan.
“We are trying to make China understand especially when the dust settles that unless they respect and recognize the arbitral tribunal, they will be the losers at the end of that day on this matter,” Yasay told a congressional hearing.
Prior to starting bilateral talks, the Philippines plans to seal a deal for China to allow Philippine fishermen to access the resource-rich waters, Yasay said.
We’ve been wondering what Manila’s bottom line would be. This seems to clear things up.
Reuters says the Philippines still expects to hold talks with China in the next year, but if Manila insists the Hague ruling be the basis for a conversation, it would be difficult to see China agreeing to meet at all.