Philippines calls on China: Respect Hague ruling
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - February 29, 2016 - 1:31am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines on Monday called on China to respect the forthcoming decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the case connected to the South China Sea dispute.

"As we presume to be responsible states, the Philippines, as well as the international community, are asking China to respect the forthcoming ruling of the Arbitral Tribunal and together advance an international rules-based regime," Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said in a statement.

This follows the statement of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, accusing the Philippines of "political provocation" in seeking international arbitration over the sea row.

READ: China accuses Philippines of political provocation

"If China does not heed our collective call, does it mean that China considers itself above the law?" Del Rosario added.

Wang claimed that the Philippines closed it doors to negotiations with China over the territorial dispute by seeking arbitration.

China has refused to participate in the proceedings at the international tribunal based in The Hague, Netherlands.

Del Rosario, however, stressed that the Philippines had numerous meetings with China to resolve the issue.

"We have invited China many times to join us in arbitration as early as 2012, again to no avail," Del Rosario said.

The Philippines is expecting the final ruling of the international tribunal on its case against China by May.

Del Rosario and his counterparts from the nine other Southeast Asian countries have expressed their concern over the recent developments in the disputed sea during their annual retreat in Laos.

RELATED: Palace: UN court ruling must be respected | Gov't stresses need for rule of law, peaceful resolution of sea disputes

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