Philippines minister dares China to put maritime sovereignty claim to arbitration


Manila: Philippines Defense Minister Challenged China on Monday to accept its claim of sovereignty South China Sea To international arbitration after another standoff over the weekend, but said Manila would not back down from its position.
philippines Accused China Coast Guard Using water cannon against a civilian boat carrying supplies to troops stationed on a grounded warship at a disputed site second thomas shoalThe resupply boat was damaged and some crew were injured, the latest in a series of flare-ups over the past year.
Philippine Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro told reporters, “If China is not afraid to state its claims to the world, why don't we mediate under international law?”
China's coast guard said it had taken necessary measures against the Philippine vessels. China's Defense Ministry on Sunday told the Philippines to stop “provocative actions” and comments that could escalate conflict and tensions.
The Philippines' national security adviser called for a high-level meeting of top security officials on Monday over the incident to formulate recommendations to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on how to move forward in the dispute.
China claims almost the entire South China Sea, including the Second Thomas Shoal, which is within the Philippines' 200-mile (320-km) exclusive economic zone.
Despite the Permanent Court of Arbitration making clear in 2016 that its sweeping claims had no basis under international law, Beijing has deployed hundreds of coast guard ships to patrol the entire South China Sea, which it considers its territory.
“They are the ones who entered our territory,” said Philippine Defense Secretary Teodoro.
“No country believes (their claims) and they see it as their way of using force, intimidation and bending the Philippines to their ambitions.”

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