The Philippines has expressed confidence that The Hague will come up with a “just decision” in an arbitration case it has filed relating to a maritime dispute over parts of the South China Sea, warning that any decision in support of China could provide an echo of Cold War Germany.
A ruling favorable to China “would convert the nine-dash line, or its equivalent in the form of exaggerated maritime zones for tiny, uninhabitable features, into a Berlin Wall of the Sea,” Philstar.com on Tuesday quoted Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario as saying.
Del Rosario — who led The Philippine team at the tribunal with Solicitor General Florin Hilbay — said that such a judgment would be tantamount to building a “giant fence, owned by, and excluding everyone but China itself”.
The tribunal finally agreed to hear Manila’s case last month, after it lodged a case with the United Nations in 2013 challenging the legality of Beijing’s assertion that its ownership of the sea is “indisputable” and “historical.”
On Tuesday, China reasserted that the tribunal had no jurisdiction over the matter, and China “does not accept and does not participate in the arbitration position.”
“China’s position is clear and consistent,” Hua Chunying, the spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, said in daily press briefing.