MALACAÑANG on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, said it will “agree to disagree” with the Chinese government’s refusal to honor the country’s appeal to respect the arbitration ruling that invalidated China’s claim over the South China Sea.
“We have differences pagdating doon as arbitral award. We will agree to disagree. We will proceed with our bilateral relations because the arbitral award is not a subtotal of our relations with China,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said during a public briefing Tuesday.
In a statement, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. called for China’s compliance to the 2016 ruling of the UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, saying that it “conclusively settled the issue of historic rights and maritime entitlements in the South China Sea.”
“The Tribunal authoritatively ruled that China’s claim of historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line’ had no basis in law - the award is non-negotiable,” Locsin said.
The Chinese government has nullified the Philippines’ claim over the South China sea by refusing to acknowledge the four-year-old arbitration ruling.
"China's position is consistent, clear, and firm. The South China Sea arbitration and its so-called award are illegal and invalid. China does not accept or participate in the arbitration, nor does it accept or recognize the so-called award,” the Chinese embassy said in a statement.
According to Roque, the Philippines will still maintain its diplomatic ties with the Chinese government.
“Unang-una po, talagang hindi tayo nagkakasundo sa bansang China tungkol diyan sa arbitral award na ‘yan, sinasabi natin na partido ang China sa Unclos (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) na may mandatory dispute resolution na ginamit natin at ang naging resulta ay ‘yung award,” Roque said.
“Meanwhile, itong disagreement natin na ito ay hindi dahilan at hindi naman ito sumatutal ng ating relasyon sa bansang China,” he said.
“We will proceed po. Isusulong natin ang puwede nating maisulong sa ating pagkakaibigan sa China - mga bagay na may kinalaman sa ekonomiya, sa kalakal, at isasantabi na muna po natin ‘yung mga bagay na hindi napagkasunduan, kasama na po itong terrirorial dispute na ito,” he added.
Roque also said the Philippines will not partake in the fight between the United States of America and China.
He made the statement after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that “Beijing’s claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them.”
“Ang huling pronouncement po ng Pangulo tungkol diro ay sinabi po niya sa Asean summit ang sabi po ng pangulo ay talaga naman pong ang mga bansang Amerika at China ay patuloy na hihikayatin tayo na sumapi sakanilang kampo,” Roque said.
Kinakailangan ang ating posisyon po rito ay isulong natin ang pang-nasyunal na interes natin at kinakailangan po ang resolusyon sa South China Sea ay sangayon po sa batas at sinasabi nga po natin ang lahat ng interesado rito sa West Philippine Sea dispute kinakailangan maresolba ito sangayon po sa UN convention on the law of the sea,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)
In this photo provided by US Navy, the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76, front) and USS Nimitz (CVN 68, rear) Carrier Strike Groups sail together in formation, in the South China Sea, Monday, July 6, 2020. (AP)
July 14, 2020
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