Philippines takes China maritime dispute to UN tribunal

Published on January 23, 2013 by   ·   No Comments
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The Philippines has exhausted “almost all” political and diplomatic avenues in the dispute with China over oil and fishing rights in the South China Sea.

Philippines takes China maritime dispute to UN tribunal

The Philippines has exhausted “almost all” political and diplomatic avenues in dispute with China over oil and fishing rights in the South China Sea.

The Philippines plans to challenge China’s maritime claims before a United Nations-endorsed tribunal, a move that may raise tensions as the two nations vie for oil, gas and fish resources in contested waters.

“The Philippines has exhausted almost all political and diplomatic avenues for a peaceful negotiated settlement of its maritime dispute with China,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario told reporters in Manila Tuesday. “To this day, a solution is elusive. We hope the arbitral proceedings shall bring this dispute to a durable solution.”

The Philippines is challenging China’s “nine-dash” map of the sea, first published in 1947, that extends hundreds of miles south from China’s Hainan Island to the equatorial waters off the coast of Borneo. China claims “indisputable sovereignty” over more than 100 small islands, atolls and reefs that form the Paracel and Spratly Islands.

China’s assertiveness in disputed waters has raised tensions throughout Asia and generated concern among US officials over access to the South China Sea, where its navy has patrolled since World War II. Vietnam and the Philippines reject China’s map of the waters as a basis for joint development of oil and gas.

“This move from the Philippines smacks of desperation and is likely to achieve little apart from highlighting its dispute on the international stage but alienating China even more,” said Gary Li, head of marine and aviation forecasting at Exclusive Analysis Ltd., recently acquired by Englewood, Colorado-based IHS Inc. “Militarily it is weak, and in terms of alliances it has not been able to secure the firm backing of the US as much as Washington’s other allies.”

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Source: The Sydney Morning Herald.

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