Urgent!! China rules out ITLOS role, desires no aggravation over Scarborough

April 18, 2012 10:59 pm 

MANILA, April 18 —China desires that the Philippines “commits to the consensus” that their dispute over the Scarborough Shoals be settled “through friendly consultations and not to complicate or aggravate this incident,” effectively ruling out Philippine overtures for intervention by the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea or ITLOS.

In an exclusive e-mail to the Philippines News Agency, the Chinese embassy spokesperson Zhang Hua said the Chinese side is aware that the Philippines intends to seek settlement of the dispute via the ITLOS.

But Zhang added: "We urge the Philippine side to fully respect China's sovereignty, and commit to the consensus we reached on settling the incident through friendly consultation and not to complicate or aggravate this incident, so that peace and stability in that area can be restored."

In a statement on Tuesday, Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario has appealed to China to join in the Philippine effort for an ITLOS intervention– which is a multilateral approach.

Clearly then, China prefers its long-standing position of a bilateral approach to what it said is a one-on-one dispute over territorial sovereignty and maritime jurisdiction between China and the Philippines.

It is known that even the idea of going through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and debating the issue through UNCLOS principles are not warranted by the Chinese government.

Instead, Beijing has repeatedly proposed that while frictions are ongoing, Manila and Beijing agree on joint cooperative efforts to develop the South China Sea.(PNA)

RMA/GJB

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