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Manila barking up the wrong tree

Updated: 2014-04-15 07:19
By Jin Yongming ( China Daily)

The Philippines recently submitted a memorandum to the Permanent Court of Arbitration laying claim to China's Meiji Reef and Huangyan Island (or Mischief Reef and Scarborough Shoal as the Philippines calls them) and several other islands that are either submerged features or "rocks" in the South China Sea as defined under Article 121 of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. But that does not mean the Philippines has fulfilled the requirements for initiating an arbitration, nor does it mean the arbitral tribunal has jurisdiction to hear the case.

The Philippines first sent a notification and statement of claim to China in January 2013 to initiate arbitral proceedings and seek a "peaceful and durable resolution to the dispute" under the UN Convention.

According to the provisions of the Convention, state parties shall settle any dispute between them by peaceful means according to the UN Charter, and when a dispute arises, the parties should proceed expeditiously to exchange views on a settlement through negotiations or other peaceful means.

Manila barking up the wrong tree

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