Print Version    Email to Friend
Manila refuses to ignore The Hague ruling

MANILA (AsiaNews): Manila has rejected a suggestion from Beijing that negotiations over the South China Sea be commenced outside of and in contempt of the ruling handed down by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on July 12, which declared China has no historical or legal claim to the waters embraced by its ill-famed Nine-Dash Line.

Philippine foreign minister, Perfecto Yasay, responded that it would be unconstitutional for his government to act in a manner contrary to the legal ruling, even though it is not binding.

“The Chinese asked us to open bilateral negotiations, but outside (and) in utter disregard of international arbitration. It is not in line with the dictates of our constitution and our national interest,” Yasay said on July 19.

He said that he believes that the conclusion of the hearing and the ruling guaranteed a clash between the governments in Beijing and Manila.

While China has not commented on Yasay’s remarks, it has remained defiant on the issue. Nevertheless, it is playing an astute game, even offering its understanding and tacit support for the massive bloodbath that the president, Rodrigo Duterte, is inflicting on the poor of his nation.

Xinhua reported an official from the Chinese military as saying that Beijing will never stop construction on the Nansha Islands and some other places.

Meanwhile, Manila wants to prioritise negotiations to ensure safe passage to Filipino fishermen to work in the disputed waters of the Scarborough Shoal.

More from this section