Filipino Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay. (Source: Reuters)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – The Philippine government reiterated its firm adherence to the July ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the country lawsuit against China’s claims in the East Sea.

Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay made the statement on December 19, adding that the Philippines will tackle the East Sea issue based on the ruling.

The diplomat also explained that revitalising ties with China is one of President Rodrigo Duterte's priorities and that the government has been working to build "confidence and trust" with China.

Yasay said the move aims at a trust level that will allow the Philippines to discuss more sensitive issues in bilateral ties with China in the future.

According to the PCA ruling on July 12, China’s claims to historic rights over sea areas falling within the nine-dash line are contrary to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

China does not have historic rights over waters in the East Sea and any legal basis to announce statements on historic rights over natural resources within the nine-dash line.

The ruling said that no islands in the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago entitle China a right to an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and that Beijing has caused long-term and irreparable harm to the coral ecosystem in Truong Sa archipelago.

It also stressed that China has interfered with the traditional fishing rights of the Philippines in Scaborough Shoal, highlighting that China’s actions have worsen disputes between the country and the Philippines when efforts have been made to resolve the disputes.

China issued a statement saying it would neither participate in nor accept the ruling./.