Barely a week before the UN tribunal hands down its decision on the territorial dispute in the South China Sea filed by the Philippines, China was in panic mode.
After the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague announced last week that it is set to issue a ruling in the territorial dispute filed by the Philippines in 2013, China, on the other hand, was busy intensifying its position in the highly contested area.
In an earlier report from Morning News USA, China has announced over the weekend its five-day naval drill in areas in the vast maritime zone. The drills, which has begun Tuesday and will run a day before the issuance of the decision, drew mixed reactions from international observers.
China’s move to hold the controversial drills came after the earlier pronouncement that countries involved in the issue, referring to the Philippines in particular, should meet with China in a peaceful dialogue and avoid actions that would worsen the complicated situation in the region, state-run news agency Xinhua.net reported.
China Wants Peace
According to Chinese Ambassador to France Zhai Jun, there’s no other way of solving the issue in South China Sea other than a peaceful dialogue. Zhai also urged countries to be responsible in their positions so as not to worsen the situation in the region and to preserve peace and stability in the area.
“South China Sea issue could not be solved without direct dialogue and joint efforts of different countries. We regret the decision of the Philippines to unilaterally resort to international arbitration to resolve the dispute with China over the South China Sea,” Zhai was quoted as saying by Xinhua.net.
China claims nearly 90 percent of one of the world’s most important maritime zone, where at least $5 trillion worth of goods passes through each year. Aside from its economic importance, the vast sea also plays a vital role in the world’s geopolitics.