Jun. 14 – The Philippines is still planning to bring its dispute with China over the Scarborough Shoal to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea, according to Philippines Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario. On Wednesday, Del Rosario explained that the only way to resolve the current naval standoff with China is through international mediation.
“Pursuing a dispute settlement mechanism under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to validate our claims in the West Philippines Sea constitutes our legal approach towards a durable and peaceful resolution,” he said. “It is, as well, an option that is explicitly encouraged by many of our international partners to settle our disputes in accordance with a rules-based regime to include UNCLOS.”
China has previously rejected the Philippines request to take their dispute to the International Tribunal, therefore it is yet to be seen how effective mediation through UNCLOS will be. However, with China’s pledge to exercise restraint, this may be the necessary first step in resolving the current standoff.