Chinese navy holds live-fire drills in South China Sea

"The ASEM leaders summit is not a suitable place to discuss the South China Sea". Historically, these disputes have been amicably settled between neighbors.

Since its founding, the People's Republic of China has signed border treaties with 12 land neighbours on delineation and demarcation of borderlines.

China declares an Air Defense Identification Zone, ordering commercial and military aircraft to lodge flight plans with it. It announced an ADIZ over parts of the East China Sea disputed with Japan in 2013, but in practice has had difficulty enforcing it, and the US would probably ignore one over the South China Sea.

This approach was advocated by the regional grouping of Asian nations to ensure peace and stability in the South China Sea and is jointly maintained by China and the ASEAN countries.

But in reality, China has repeatedly assured that freedom of flight and navigation will not be affected by construction on some of its islands and reefs in the South China Sea.

"China will never change its stance", he added.

First, the arbitration is a political farce and provocation under the pretext of law.

Another way out is for the parties concerned to establish a common ownership of the disputed areas whereby all the revenues from the South China Sea are equitably shared among the littoral countries. "And also, meanwhile, speed up the consultations on the COC, code of conduct in the South China Sea".

China, Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan (which China claims as a breakaway province) have claims and counter-claims over islands, shoals and reefs in the SCS.

Meanwhile, the Philippines made a step toward downgrading the conflict on Friday.

China and the Philippines have already reached agreement, in bilateral documents, on resolving relevant disputes in the South China Sea through bilateral negotiation.

On that basis, China and the Philippines chose negotiation as the means to resolve disputes and excluded third-party settlement, including arbitration.

Given the complexity of the maritime disputes in the South China Sea, all the claimants have to be patient and take a long view on how to resolve these issues.

Contrary to China's claim, the Philippines, for over two decades, has engaged China bilaterally and regionally to arrive at a peaceful resolution to the dispute.

In response, China accuses the Philippines of acting unilaterally and in violation of the DOC. Moreover, it also argues that the global court does not have jurisdiction over the disputes between the two countries and it will not acknowledge any adjudication.

In the case of inhabited islands claimed by a country, its territorial waters stretch 12 nautical miles from the islands and its EEZ up to 200 nautical miles.

And in 2006, China declared it would exclude "disputes concerning maritime delimitation" from compulsory arbitration, under Article 298 of UNCLOS.

Thus, the arbitration is illegal, and null and void.

But if it were strictly to apply the law, the ruling will be in favor of the Philippines. Rather, the case is about the clarification of maritime entitlements of the parties involved which is under the jurisdiction of the tribunal.

China is therefore absolutely right when it says it refuses to accept or join any arbitration - and that it will also not acknowledge any resulting adjudication in absentia. However, roughly contiguous to China's "nine-dash line" territorial claim in the South China Sea, the continental shelf drops to a deep basin of around 4,000m, offering better cover for submarines. In fact, Pentagon officials have said the Chinese are building airstrips for military operations and placing weapons on the island such as artillery systems.

For China, national sovereignty and the credibility of the Communist Party is at stake. We are ready to accept the ruling as an affirmation of the United Nations convention and hope that all members of the worldwide community will do the same. On 8 June, The PLA Navy commissioned a new Type 056A frigate, the Qujing, which boasts an array of anti-submarine warfare capabilities and will be based in the South China Sea.

Minda Calaguian-Cruz is the ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines to Australia.

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