South China Sea Dispute: Furious China Hasten Land Reclamation In Scarborough Shoal
Pending the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague on the case lodged by the Philippines over a territorial dispute against China, the Chinese government bared its plan to ramp up its claim in the South China Sea, particularly in Scarborough Shoal.Advertisement
As previously reported by Morning News USA, China has sought the help of its strong ally, Russia, in its claim for territory in the South China Sea. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a talk with its counterparts in Russia, particularly with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. During the meeting, China lambasted the move of the Philippines to bring the case before an international tribunal and accused the Philippines of “internationalizing’ the issue.
On Monday, a high-ranking Chinese official reportedly said that the upcoming decision from the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which is expected to be released next month or early July, is one of the things that could accelerate China’s reclamation plans in Scarborough, the South China Morning Post reported.
It is because the Chinese government has been expecting an unfavorable decision from the same international tribunal that hears cases concerning disputes in the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). It can be recalled that the Philippines has brought its claim in parts of the South China Sea to which, China claims 90 percent of the area, to the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague last year.
According to the Chinese official who requested anonymity, the Chinese government is already making an advance action as it expects that the international tribunal would favor the Philippines. China was also alarmed in the recent joint military presence of the Philippines and the United States in the region.
“Beijing will take action to carry out land reclamation at Huangyan Island within this year,” said the source, who requested anonymity, referring to the shoal. China should regain the initiative to do so because Washington is trying to contain Beijing by establishing a permanent military presence in the region,” the Chinese official who’s familiar with the plan told the South China Morning Post.
Early this month, the United Kingdom expressed opinion in favor of the Philippines. British minister for East Asian affair, Hugo Swire, said China and the Philippines should take the case at The Hague as an opportunity to sort things out amicably and renew dialogue. While the Philippines brought the case before an international tribunal, China maintained that it would not participate in the case and is pushing for bilateral dialogue.
China seized the Scarborough shoal, which is just 230 kilometers off a Philippine Island, in 2012. Despite the Philippine’s effort to bring the matter before an international tribunal, China has insisted it won’t participate in the mediation and insisted on a bilateral talks, that is, only between the two nations.