Ruling Due July 12 in South China Sea Dispute
The ongoing battle over the South China Seas could soon come to an end through arbitration. The Permanent Court of Arbitration has announced it will deliver a ruling July 12 in the case filed by the Philippines that called into question Beijing’s claim over most of the South China Sea.
Beijing already rejected the international arbitration and has stated it plans to ignore whatever decision the panel reaches. The court’s announcement of the date of the ruling is a bit unusual. It stated the ruling will be sent to all countries involved and will be published at the same time. Experts familiar with the situation are urging the United States and others to prepare for the fallout following the announcement of the ruling.
The outgoing Philippine President Benigno Aquino III stated the government thought it should bring China to international arbitration in 2013 because the country took control of the shoal. It also later backed out of a United States broker arrangement for Beijing and Manila which required both to withdraw ships from the fishing area in the South China Sea. The president’s successor has since called on China to comply, but said he will hold talks with the government if it chooses to ignore the forthcoming decision. He has repeatedly shown a willingness to end the ongoing rocky relations with China.
Washington has chosen not to take sides in the dispute. There are six governments with territorial claims in the South China Sea, including the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Brunei, and Malaysia