US expects China, Philippines to abide by UN ruling


Kerry on sea row: Rights of all claimants must be respected

WASHINGTON – Should a UN tribunal rule it has jurisdiction over a case brought by the Philippines against China’s nine-dash claim over the South China Sea, any arbitral decision the court makes would be binding to both countries, US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel said.

As a matter of international law the United States and the international community expect both countries to honor their treaty obligations, he said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, in a separate meeting with ASEAN foreign ministers over the weekend, underscored the need for countries to respect the rights of one another.

“The US will not accept restrictions on freedom of navigation and overflight or on other lawful uses of the sea. It doesn’t matter if the vessel is a large warship or a tiny little fishing boat. The principle must be very clear – the rights of all nations must be respected,“ Kerry told the ASEAN foreign ministers.

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