Yasay raises West PH Sea ruling before UN
MANILA, Philippines – Despite China's refusal to bring this issue to international fora, Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr raised the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) dispute before the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York.
"Our commitment to the rule of law, to peace, to our people, and to our relations with the international community also extends to the recent decision of the Arbitral Tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague with regard to disputes in the South China Sea," Yasay said at the general debate of the UN General Assembly on Saturday, September 24.
"The decision has upheld the primacy of international law as the cornerstone for a rules-based regional and international order," he said.
The Philippines' top diplomat added, "The Arbitral Award, which is final and binding on all parties, is a clearly established fact and is now part of international jurisprudence in the maritime domain."
"We reaffirm our abiding commitment to pursue the peaceful resolution and management of disputes with a view to promoting and enhancing peace and stability in the region. We need to fully respect legal and diplomatic processes, as we explore the best way forward," Yasay said.
'Soft landing' for China
The ruling issued by an arbitral tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, invalidated China's expansive claim over the West Philippine Sea.
In the face of this defeat, Duterte has vowed to give China a "soft landing."
At the recent Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Vientiane, Laos, for instance, Duterte ditched his prepared speech that was supposed to cite the West Philippine Sea ruling.
Duterte instead delivered a "passionate" speech criticizing the US over human rights.
Earlier, Duterte said of the Hague ruling: "I hope China is dealing with us in good faith. But we are not insisting on the arbitral judgement....They better come up with what they want. Because whether we like it or not, that arbitral judgement will be insisted not only by the Philippines but by the whole countries here in Southeast Asia." – Rappler.com