Correcting a very grave misconception about the Philippines vs China arbitration case

Correcting a very grave misconception about the Philippines vs China arbitration case

- in Opinion, World
What is the Philippines case versus China really about?

Because the Aquino administration did not really take an effort to CORRECT misconception about the Philippines vs China arbitration case, let an ordinary citizen like me remind you what the case is about.

The case is NOT about sovereignty. The case is NOT about maritime delimitation. The case is NOT even about TERRITORIAL DISPUTES. Nothing in that case is about any of that. So DO NOT expect that the arbitral award that will be issued on July 12 will decide on any of that. Now ask yourself, why did the previous administration made it appear that the case was about any of those things I mentioned? They are aware of the misconception, but they didn’t really spend a lot of effort correcting it. WHY???!

This is Paragraph 8 of the arbitral court’s decision on JURISDICTION, issued on 29 October 2015:

Conscious that the Convention is NOT CONCERNED WITH TERRITORIAL DISPUTES, THE PHILIPPINES HAS STATED THAT AT ALL STAGES OF THIS ARBITRATION THAT IT IS NOT ASKING THIS TRIBUNAL TO RULE ON THE TERRITORIAL SOVEREIGNTY ASPECT OF ITS DISPUTES WITH CHINA. Similarly, conscious that in 2006 China made a declaration, in accordance with the Convention, to exclude maritime boundary delimitations from its acceptance of compulsory dispute settlement procedures under the Convention, THE PHILIPPINES HAS STATED THAT IT IS NOT ASKING THIS TRIBUNAL TO DELIMIT ANY MARITIME BOUNDARIES.

And this TRUTH makes Duterte’s position on the issue very reasonable.

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About the author

Sass Rogando Sasot
A transpinay based in The Hague, Sass Rogando Sasot is studying at Leiden University, pursuing an MA in International Relations, working on a thesis on how a systemic change led to the rivalry of the coastal States of the South China Sea. In 2013, Sass became the first Filipino to receive the ECHO Award, given annually to excellent migrant students in academic and higher professional education in The Netherlands. In 2014, she graduated magna cum laude at Leiden University College-The Hague, with a Combined Major in World Politics and Global Justice, minor in International Development, with courses on U.S. Foreign Policy and International Relations of China take at UCLA. She has at least 10 years of practical international experience.

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