MANILA — The Philippine government asked China anew to join in the arbitration proceedings over their long-standing disputes in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) after the Netherlands-based tribunal gave Beijing until December 15 to respond to the complaint filed by Manila.
China has rejected the Philippine case that was filed on January 2013 and insists on resolving the sea row bilaterally.
Manila submitted its written pleading or memorial that contained volumes of documents and maps to bolster its case against China on March 30 this year and the arbitral tribunal gave Beijing six months to file a counter-memorial.
“We continue to urge China to reconsider its decision not to participate in the arbitration proceedings,” Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Spokesman Charles Jose said in a press briefing Wednesday.
Jose noted the Philippines is not asking the court to grant ownership of the disputed territories but is merely seeking clarification of China’s claim of “indisputable sovereignty over nearly the entire South China Sea.”
“We wish to reiterate that arbitration is a peaceful, open and friendly resolution mechanism that offers a durable solution to the disputes in the South China Sea,” Jose said.