MANILA, Philippines – By turning to international arbitration to define its maritime entitlements in the South China Sea, Manila has shown there are options to resolve territorial disputes other than lopsided negotiations where mighty nations lord over small ones.
Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Cuisia Jr. voiced the observation in a speech during a reception he hosted for Washington-based journalists led by National Press Club president Myron Belkind.
“We have always been asked why we have resorted to arbitration. Our answer is simple. International law is the great equalizer,” Cuisia said in his remarks.
He said Manila sees the arbitration case as a model for other smaller states in a similar situation. Manila’s resorting to international arbitration was prompted by China’s expansive claim over the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea.