Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - The Netherlands-based Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on November 24 began hearing a case filed by the Philippines contesting China’s claims to disputed areas in the East Sea.

The hearing is scheduled to last until November 30. The UN tribunal will deliver its judgment in 2016.

Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam are allowed to attend the in-camera hearing as observers.

The hearing is being held after the tribunal on October 30 announced that it has jurisdiction over the case.

According to a summary released by PCA on the same day, after reviewing the claims submitted by the Philippines, the tribunal has rejected the argument by China that the dispute is beyond the tribunal’s jurisdiction.

PCA said the case reflects the argument between the two countries concerning the enforcement of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and that this was within the PCA’s scope.

On October 30, China’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement slamming the court’s judgment. The country also asked the Philippines to withdraw its lawsuit and come back to bilateral negotiations.-VNA