Tribunal orders China to answer PH pleading

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

(UPDATED) China is given until December this year to respond to the historic case filed against it by the Philippines

TENSION. On the eve of Manila's submission of its pleading against Beijing in March 2014, a Chinese coast guard ship (top) and a Philippine supply boat were caught in a standoff near the disputed Ayungin Shoal,. File photo by Jay Directo/AFP

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The arbitral tribunal handling the maritime dispute between Manila and Beijing has ordered China to respond to the case filed by the Philippines not later than December 15, 2014.

In a June 3 press statement released from its headquarters at The Hague, The Netherlands, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) noted that it has been “mindful of its obligation” to determine its procedure on how to deal with the Philippines’ pleading “while assuring to each party a full opportunity to be heard and to present its case.”

On March 29, 2014, the Philippines submitted a nearly 4,000-page document, called a memorial, in a bid to end what it considered decades of bullying by China.

However, China has refused to acknowledge the designated arbitral tribunal’s jurisdiction to hear the case. (READ: China rejects PH case, invokes int’l law)

The court took note of this in its June 3 statement. It said: “On 21 May 2014, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) received a Note Verbale from China in which it reiterated its position that “it does not accept the arbitration initiated by the Philippines” and that the Note  Verbale “shall not be regarded as China’s acceptance of or participation in the proceedings.”

The tribunal’s order for Beijing to respond – despite the Asian giant’s refusal to take part in the proceeding – moves the case forward.

Experts said China’s refusal to argue against the Philippines can fast-track the case. In this situation, the Philippines sees a ruling on the case by mid-2015. 

The court of aribitration is an intergovernmental organization that was established by the 1899 Hague Convention on the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes. It facilitates arbitration, conciliation, and fact-finding, among other modes, to settle disputes among states, organizations and private parties.

Strained ties

China’s claim to nearly all of the South China Sea, which straddles vital sea lanes and is believed to sit on vast oil and gas reserves, has strained its ties with Southeast Asian countries.

The Philippines considers the historic case as its last resort, after it exhausted more than 17 years of dialogue. (READ: PH slaps China with 8 facts)

The Philippines said it hopes other claimant countries, particularly Vietnam and Malaysia, “can either join us or they can file another case.”

Tensions rose when China started sending ships to Panatag Shoal off Zambales in 2012, and built structures in the Kalayaan Group of Islands (Spratlys). –


Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Clothing, Sleeve, Adult


Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior multimedia reporter covering religion for Rappler. He also teaches journalism at the University of Santo Tomas. For story ideas or feedback, email