MANILA — Malacanang on Monday said the statement of Indonesian President Joko Widodo that China’s main claims to the majority of the South China Sea has no legal basis is consistent with the Philippines’ position in the disputed territories.
”This is consistent with the Philippine position that the so-called nine-dash-line theory underpinning China’s claims contradicts the principles of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), for which reason we have filed a petition in the UN arbitral tribunal,” said Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. in a text message to Malacanang media.
Although he said China’s claims has no basis in international law, Widodo reportedly said Indonesia will remain an “honest broker” in the territorial disputes.
China reportedly claims 90 percent of the South China Sea, a territory being partly claimed by Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and the Philippines, as well as Taiwan.
”Moreover, the Philippines, Indonesia and the other ASEAN member countries have recognized the need to flesh out a code of conduct for all countries with maritime entitlement claims so that these may be resolved diplomatically and peacefully,” Coloma said.
Recently, the Philippines has reportedly submitted a 3,000-page supplemental documents rebutting the claim of China that UNCLOS has no jurisdiction to decide on the Philippines’ complaints in disputed South China sea.
The Philippines filed its South China Sea complaints before the UNCLOS in March last year.