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Philippines welcomes US affirmation of 2016 SCS ruling

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star
Philippines welcomes US affirmation of 2016 SCS ruling
In a statement, the DFA said the study is consistent with the vision statement issued by the Philippines and the US on Nov. 16, 2021, “which states that the People’s Republic of China (PRC)’s expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea are inconsistent with the international law of the sea as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).”
AFP

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) yesterday welcomed the US State Department study that found China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea as “unlawful” and “inconsistent” with international law.

In a statement, the DFA said the study is consistent with the vision statement issued by the Philippines and the US on Nov. 16, 2021, “which states that the People’s Republic of China (PRC)’s expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea are inconsistent with the international law of the sea as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).”

The DFA said the study was also consistent “with the unanimous July 12, 2016 Award in the South China Sea Arbitration (Republic of Philippines v. People’s Republic of China), a decision that, pursuant to the Convention, is legally binding on the Philippines and the PRC.”

The 47-page research paper titled “Limits in the Seas,” prepared by the US State Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, said that Beijing has no basis under international law for its maritime claims in the region.

“The overall effect of these maritime claims is that the PRC unlawfully claims sovereignty or some form of exclusive jurisdiction over most of the South China Sea,” read the executive summary of the report.

“These claims gravely undermine the rule of law in the oceans and numerous universally recognized provisions of international law reflected in the Convention. For this reason, the United States and numerous other States have rejected these claims in favor of the rules-based international maritime order within the South China Sea and worldwide,” it added.

The Chinese government described the study as misleading and claimed that the US misrepresented “international law to mislead the public, confuse right with wrong and upset the regional situation.”

“It wantonly misrepresents the convention and adopts double standards out of selfish gains. Such political manipulation is irresponsible and undermines international rule of law,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin.

“Our sovereignty and relevant rights and interests in the South China Sea are established in the long course of history and are in line with the UN Charter, UNCLOS and other international law,” he added, claiming that the arbitral tribunal that ruled on the Philippine claim “violated the principle of state consent.”

China’s expansive claim in the South China Sea, invalidated by the arbitral ruling, covers maritime features within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines and other Southeast Asian nations.

DFA

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