Philippine President defends 2016 PCA ruling, rejects most of China’s claims to disputed waters

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(VOVWORLD) - President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has described a 2016 arbitral tribunal award that rejects most of China’s claims in disputed waters in the East Sea (internationally known as South China Sea), as “beyond compromise.”

Philippine President defends 2016 PCA ruling, rejects most of China’s claims to disputed waters - ảnh 1 Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte addresses the United Nations General Assembly on September 22. (Photo: UNTV)

In a speech delivered to the opening of the 75th session of the General Assembly on Wednesday, Duterte reaffirmed the outcome of the case, which was issued by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague. He said the award is now part of international law, beyond compromise and beyond the reach of passing governments to dilute, diminish, or abandon.

In his address, Duterte said that he welcomes “the increasing number of states that have come out in support of the award and what it stands for – the triumph of reason over rashness, of law over disorder, of amity over ambition.”

In July 2016, the tribunal issued a ruling rejecting the legal basis for nearly all of China’s expansive maritime and territorial claims in the East Sea. In particular, it determined that China’s “nine-dash line” maritime claim was inconsistent with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

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