The long wait is about to end after the UN international tribunal in The Hague announced Wednesday it is set to render its decision on the territorial dispute over the South China Sea between the Philippines and China in the next few days.
In an unprecedented occasion, the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague has announced the date of the ruling. It’s uncustomary for the court to announce the date of ruling to cases it previously handled. It added that it would publish its decision about the case on the same day, ABC News reported.
It can be recalled that the issue stemmed from the case filed by the Philippines before the international tribunal in 2013, after China stepped up in intensifying military presence in the group of islands within the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EZZ). But since day one, China has been vocal about its position, saying it has neither plans of participating nor recognizing the outcome of the proceedings.
The Philippines’ new president, Rodrigo Duterte, has urged China to heed the court’s ruling. He, however, said that his government is open for possibilities to hold talks without involving the United States. Duterte, meanwhile, added that his administration would wait for the decision of the court, as it would be the basis for his next move, as previously reported by Morning News USA.
Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, Huang Huikang, published an editorial on Manila-based newspaper Star, which summarizes the historical foundations as well as China’s position on the issue. In the 2000-word article, Huang said the issue has reached to its “hyped up” level because of the interference with other nations, the Asian Review reported.
Although Huang did not make references to the U.S., China has been vocal in criticizing the intervention of the Americans in the South China Sea row, saying the country should step back from the matter as it’s not part of the conflict.