MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A Philippine Supreme Court justice launched a book on Thursday that questions China’s historic claims to most of the South China Sea and said he will distribute it online to try to overcome China’s censorship and reach its people.
Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said his e-book can be downloaded for free in English now and will be made available later in Mandarin, Vietnamese, Bahasa, Japanese and Spanish to help more people understand the basis of the Philippines’ stand against China’s territorial claims.
Carpio said public opinion, including in China, can help pressure Beijing to comply with an arbitration ruling last year that invalidated China’s historic claims based on a 1982 maritime treaty. Carpio helped prepare the arbitration case, which the Philippines largely won.
China has dismissed the ruling and continued to develop seven artificial islands in the South China Sea’s Spratly archipelago. China’s construction of the islands on disputed reefs has alarmed rival claimants and the United States.
“This book in its printed form can never be distributed in China. It will be banned,” Carpio said at the launch of his book in Manila. “The only way this e-book can reach the Chinese people is in electronic format through the internet.”