In a tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague on Tuesday, a delegation of nearly 50 lawyers and representatives for the Philippines gathered to present their case for territorial claims and usage rights in the South China Sea.
The Philippine claims contest China’s assertion that it has sovereignty over waters surrounding its island construction projects in the Spratlys, and its interests in an area of the South China Sea encircled by its “nine-dash line.”
Other countries involved in the dispute, including Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia, are said to be watching the proceedings closely to determine whether to file claims of their own.
Lawyers for the Philippines will be presenting a total of 15 claims to the court. “We are confident that we will get a favourable decision on some of the issues, but it would be unrealistic to expect that we will get a favourable decision on all issues,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Charles Jose in Manila.