Int’l court to issue ruling on PH-China maritime dispute by July

  • The Permanent Arbitration Court in The Hague, Netherlands will issue its ruling on the West Philippine Sea case on July 12
  • China maintained it will not recognize the court’s ruling for supposed lack of jurisdiction
  • The US, meanwhile, said it will support whatever the outcome of the proceedings will be

MANILA, Philippines  – The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, Netherlands is scheduled to hand down its ruling on the maritime dispute filed by the Philippines against China more than three years ago.

In a press release dated June 29 on its official website, the PCA said it has “informed the parties” on the same day that the tribunal will issue its award in the territorial dispute initiated by the Philippines against China under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS) on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 at approximately 11 am (local time.)

“The Award will first be issued via e-mail to the Parties, along with an accompanying Press Release containing a summary of the Award. The Press Release will be in English and French, with an unofficial Mandarin Chinese translation provided,” the statement read.

Copies of the tribunal’s Procedural Orders will also be available on its website reports of tribunal-appointed experts, and the Philippines’ written submissions and accompanying annexes.

“The Parties will receive originally signed versions of the Award. Hard copies of the Award will also be sent to the Embassies of States that were granted observer status for the hearings. There will be no in-person meeting or ceremony for the rendering of the Award,” the statement added.

China’s reaction

China has reiterated its position that it will not recognize the court ruling; saying the PCA has no jurisdiction over the matter.

Reacting to the imminent PCA ruling which is widely expected to favor the Philippines, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei maintained that the Philippines’ unilateral lodging of the maritime dispute in the West Philippine Sea is against international laws.

“On the issue of territory and disputes over maritime delineation, China does not accept any dispute resolution from a third party and does not accept any dispute resolution forced on China,” the Chinese official said.

US support

Meanwhile, the U.S. state department spokeswoman Anna Richey-Allen said it supports the PCA’s ruling regardless of which country it favors.

The Washington official said: “We support the peaceful resolution of disputes in the South China Sea, including the use of international legal mechanisms such as arbitration.”

On January 22, 2013, the PCA officially received the notification and statement of claim in the disputed territories in the West Philippines Sea submitted by Manila; primarily questioning China’s so-called ‘nine-dash line’ territorial boundary which is encroaching into the former’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

In February of the same year, China rejected the Philippine’s notification and has since refused to participate in the proceeding.