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“See you in UN court”, Philippines rejects China’s call for talk

“See you in UN court”, Philippines rejects China’s call for talk

By Mei Jingya, Sina English

  

The Philippine foreign secretary said on Tuesday that his country has taken its island disputes with China to the United Nations tribunal.

In response, the Chinese embassy in Manila on Wednesday issued a statement calling for solving the territorial row through negotiations.

However, the Daily Inquirer reported today that Manila rejected China’s call and insisted to see China in the UN court.  

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at yesterday’s press briefing the Philippines 's request for a UN tribunal to intervene in its South China Sea territorial dispute with China would only complicate the issue and denounced Manila's "illegal occupation" of islands there.  

Philippine presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said he believes the UN arbitral tribunal will accept the case. He added that Manila has already handed over a Notification and Statement of claim and UN will notify China accordingly.  

“We have already filed the case. Let us just see each other in court,” Edwin Lacierda said, calling Chinese embassy’s statement that China prefers negotiations to international arbitration in resolving the disputes “too late”.  

The Inquirer pointed out that it’s not clear whether the UN tribunal’s award will help Philippines’ claim. While the UN ruling is binding, it has no power to enforce it.  

Lacierda also noted UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s declaration that the UN is ready to provide “technical and professional assistance” ,and “But primarily all these issues should be resolved by the parties concerned.”.

The UN chief’s statement is in line with the consistent position of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, which said Wednesday “China has always been committed to addressing disputes with the Philippines through bilateral consultations and negotiations so as to safeguard bilateral relations and regional peace and stability”, noting that it showed China's utmost goodwill and sincerity.

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