Raissa Robles in Manila
Manila is determined to pursue arbitration through the United Nations in the dispute over maritime territory in the South China Sea because it is “the last resort”, the Philippine foreign minister said yesterday.
China formally rejected the UN arbitration on February 19. A Chinese diplomat had told the South China Morning Post that Manila was making a mistake by resorting to arbitration because “we are not afraid of UNCLOS (the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas). Manila underestimates our knowledge at its peril.”
Yesterday, Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said during a media briefing: “As far as we are concerned, the train has left the station. Either China is on board or they are not. But as I said [of] the compulsory arbitration, the word will come down whether China is there [or not].”
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