MANILA, Philippines – China accused the Philippines of violating and abusing international law by filing a legal case it rejected on technical grounds.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of the People’s Republic of China released on Sunday, December 7, a position paper explaining why China is rejecting the Philippines’ arbitration case on the South China Sea. China said that The Hague-based international arbitral tribunal lacks jurisdiction or the power to decide the case.
China released the paper a week before the December 15 deadline set for it to respond to the pleading that the Philippines filed last March 30. Yet Beijing clarified that its position paper should not be considered a “counter-memorial” because it continues to reject the case.
Beijing argued that the case is primarily about territorial sovereignty, which is beyond the scope of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The Philippines and China are both parties to the treaty.
Turning the tables on the Philippines, Beijing said Manila violated the law by resorting to arbitration.