South China Sea War: UK, US Side With Philippines As China Lands Fighter Jet On Fiery Reef
Another superpower country, the United Kingdom, has joined the pack in pressuring China to heed whatever decision the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague might dispense next month over the case of territorial dispute lodged by the Philippines last year.Advertisement
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 claims roughly 90 percent of the highly contested South China Sea, using its own nine-dash-nine rule. In fact, on Sunday, it landed publicly and for the first time a military aircraft in Fiery Cross Reef. The nation said that the unprecedented landing was made in order to rescue three civilian workers who have fallen sick while working in the region.
Pentagon officials, however, had doubts regarding the true intention. “It is unclear why the Chinese used a military aircraft, as opposed to a civilian one,” Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said in a statement obtained exclusively by CNN.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague last year ruled it has the jurisdiction over the case filed by the Philippines. Many observers believe the court would likely decide in favor of the Philippines, but possibility is also high that China would not honor the decision.
“We make it clear to the Chinese that we can only do these kinds of deals in an open and transparent way under an international rules-based system. Under the international rules-based system on which the world depends, we would expect the ruling from The Hague to be adhered to by all parties concerned, whichever way it goes and we would stand by others, including the United States, whichever way that ruling goes,” Swire was quoted as saying by the Reuters.
Swire emphasized that while China remained one of the top investment partners of the UK today, this does not mean that the country would just sit and do nothing to persuade and pressure the Chinese government to adhere to the possible ruling of the court.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration is expected to issue the ruling late May or June this year. But there have been instances in the past where the ruling dispensed by the Permanent Court of Arbitration has been ignored, hence the fear that China might do the same, a report from the Breitbart News showed.