China’s historical claim on South China Sea ‘totally false’, ‘no basis’
Acting Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Antonio Carpio on Monday called on the Filipino people to help educate Chinese people that their country’s historical claim on nearly the entire South China Sea was “totally false” and “has no basis.”
Amid the territorial dispute between the Philippines and China, Carpio also said Filipinos should “encourage all navies of the world to exercise freedom of navigation in the high seas and exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of the South China Sea.”
In a forum hosted by the Association of Congressional Chiefs of Staff in the House of Representatives, Carpio noted how it could be “very difficult” to convince the Chinese government to comply with The Hague ruling when all the Chinese people believe they own it.
“So it’s very difficult. We won the arbitration. The Tribunal said China does not own the South China Sea… Now how do you convince the Chinese government to comply with the ruling when the China population believes that they own it?” asked Carpio, one of the leading figures in the Philippines’ arbitration victory against China.
“The Chinese government today would not comply with the ruling until the Chinese people understand that that historical narrative is totally false.”
“Ask the peoples of the world to help the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei to explain to the Chinese people that China has no historic claim to the South China Sea,” he also said.
Carpio further said encouraging all navies of the world to exercise freedom of navigation in the high seas and EEZs of the South China Sea would “affirm and enforce the ruling of the Tribunal that there are high seas and EEZs in the South China Sea.”
“The waters in the high seas belong to all mankind, and the resources in the EEZ belong solely to the adjacent coastal states,” he added.
The United States, United Kingdom, Japan, and other powerful countries have been sailing both on the high seas and EEZs in the South China Sea to assert freedom of navigation in the highly-contested waterway.
In July 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled as invalid Beijing’s claim over vast portions of the South China Sea. China claims nearly the entire South China Sea, including waters within the EEZs of Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines (the West Philippine Sea), Vietnam, and Taiwan.