US to China: Resolve sea row peacefully
By Jose Katigbak / April 24, 2016 /The Philippine Star
WASHINGTON – China has pulled out all the stops in vilifying the Philippines for pursuing arbitration to resolve their maritime disputes in the South China Sea, said Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel.
In a speech at the University of Southern California on Friday, Russel said the United States was determined not to let China undermine the interests of other nations with conflicting maritime claims.
“We don’t object to China exercising international maritime rights, but we do urge it to clarify its South China Sea maritime claims consistent with international law and to recognize other countries possess the same rights it exercises,” he said.
Territorial claims are notoriously hard to resolve, and some disputes pre-date the creation of the People’s Republic of China, he said.
Manila filed a case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague contesting the legality of China’s nine-dash line claim over the South China Sea and the West Philippine Sea under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
China cites “historical facts” for justifying its claim to 90 percent of the sea, which is also being contested by Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia. It has expressed intention to ignore the tribunal’s ruling expected in the coming weeks. Read more….