Day 1 at The Hague: Philippines hits China's lack of basis on claims
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - November 24, 2015 - 8:48pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines focused on the lack of basis for China's historic claims over the nine-dash line in the South China Sea during the first day of the oral arguments of the hearing on merits at the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, Netherlands.

Solicitor General Florin Hilbay took the floor to present the country's sequence of arguments before the tribunal, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said.

Meanwhile, principal counsel Paul Reichler focused in China's historic right claim and how it was derived under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

He pointed out that China's historic claims over the disputed sea do not exist under the provisions of the UNCLOS.

"Mr. Reichler mentioned that China has asserted exclusive rights over the areas covered by the Nine-Dash Line and has deprived the Philippines of fishing and exploration activities," Valte said.

Professor Bernard Oxman of the University of Miami School of Law pointed out the unlawfulness of China's claim to the South China Sea, which is beyond its maritime entitlements under the UNCLOS.

He stressed that China's massive claims over the disputed sea encroaches the rights of coastal states such as the Philippines.

"Andrew Loewenstein argued that even assuming, for the sake of argument, that a claim of historic rights can exist after the UNCLOS, China has failed to satisfy the requirements to establish the claim, namely: a continuous exercise of exclusive control for a long period of time over the said area," Valte said.

Loewenstein showed eight maps showing that China's territory did not include the nine-dash line. The said maps date back to the Ming Dynasty.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario heads the Philippine delegation to The Hague, which is comprised of representatives from the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government.

China reiterated on Tuesday that it will neither accept nor participate in the said arbitration case.

RELATED: Philippines ready for hearing on merits vs China | China: Philippines breached consensus by filing arbitration case

ANDREW LOEWENSTEIN ARBITRATION CASE CHINA COM DEPUTY PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABIGAIL VALTE FOREIGN AFFAIRS SECRETARY ALBERT HEADLINES PHILIPPINES QUOT SOUTH CHINA SEA
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