Amid the looming decision, which the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, is expected to render in the coming weeks, China has called on the Philippines anew to drop the case and go back to the negotiation table and unilaterally settle the issue on the South China Sea.
Sensing a decision from the tribunal that’s likely to favor the Philippines, China has urged the island nation to drop the case and settle the matter between the two countries. The call is especially persistent now that the Philippines has elected a new president who showed an inclination on bilateral talks rather than arbitration, the South China Morning Post reported.
According to Chinese Foreign Minister, China stood by its earlier stance that it has no interest in participating in the arbitration, nor it would honor or heed the decision of the court, especially it has been ignored in the past already. The minister, however, said China remained firmed in pushing for bilateral talks as a means to end the territorial dispute that has been dragging for decades now.
“China urges the Philippines to immediately cease its wrongful conduct of advancing the arbitration proceedings, and return to the right path of settling the relevant disputes in the South China Sea… through bilateral negotiation with China,” the minister said as quoted by the SCMP.
Meanwhile, in a separate report from the Straight Times, China has blamed the Philippines in ignoring China’s calls for regular talks bilaterally. In fact, China added that both countries signed in an agreement in 1995 wherein both China and the Philippines agreed “in a peaceful and friendly manner through consultations on the basis of equity and mutual respect”.