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South China Sea warning: Philippines reiterates arbitration ruling against China over waters
The issue of sovereignty in the South China Sea has led to tensions between China and many of its surrounding countries, including the Philippines. In the latest warning to Beijing, Manila has reiterated the international ruling that dismisses China’s sweeping claims of sovereignty over the disputed waters.
The Philippines’ Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. released a statement reiterating the arbitration that dismisses the sweeping claims made by China over the South China Sea. This comes as Manila has protested the illegal presence of Chinese vessels that are suspected to be manned by militia in waters close to the country’s exclusive economic zone or EEZ. To note, China’s sweeping claims of sovereignty over the waters also overlap with claims made by the surrounding countries.
“The Award conclusively settled the status of historic rights and maritime entitlements in the South China Sea,” said Locsin in the statement. “It declared as without legal effect claims that exceed geographic and substantive limits of maritime entitlements under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.”
“It dashed among others a nine-dash line and any expectation that possession is 9/10ths of the law,” added Locsin. “Because the mere fact of possession produces no legal effect, such as territorial sea of any extent.”
Locsin added that the Philippines is proud to have made a contribution to the international rules-based order along with the affirmation of UNCLOS and strengthening legal order over the waters. It should also be noted that China has rejected the ruling and still insists on having sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea, causing tensions with surrounding countries and their western allies.
Aside from conflicts over the South China Sea, there is the situation with Taiwan, which China also claims is part of the mainland and is ramping up its military for a potential takeover by force. However, according to British Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat, despite having military strength, China may be poised to fail when it comes to Taiwan.
Speaking with Sky News Australia, Tugendhat explained that Taiwan’s situation is different from that of Hong Kong. Tugendhat noted that any attempt by the People’s Liberation Army to take over Taiwan through its military would put them in a difficult position.