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Gov’t urged to assert PH territory, keep peaceful relations with China

/ 08:31 PM July 12, 2016

Militant women’s group Gabriela on Tuesday urged the Philippine government under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte to firmly assert Philippine territory while maintaining peaceful relations with China following the country’s arbitration victory over the disputed South China Sea.

“Gabriela welcomes the positive ruling of the UN Arbitral Tribunal that affirms Philippine sovereignty over the Spratlys and the West PH Sea. We hope that the government will be able firmly assert our territory and exclusive economic zone without compromising the safety and security of the Filipino people and while maintaining peaceful relations with China,” the group said in a statement.

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Gabriela also urged Beijing to adhere to the rule of law and respect the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which ruled “there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line.’”

“We urge the Chinese government and authorities to respect the UN tribunal’s decision, cease reclamation efforts in the West PH Sea, and agree to bilateral talk with the PH on this issue,” Gabriela said.

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In a statement and as earlier expressed, China, through its foreign ministry, said it “neither accepts nor recognizes” the ruling, calling it as “null and void and has no binding force.”

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TAGS: Arbitration, China, Gabriela, maritime dispute, Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, South China sea, West Philippine Sea
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