Philippine activists celebrated the PCA ruling in Manila on July 12 (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
The Philippines on July 14 urged China to respect the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s (PCA) ruling that rejected Beijing’s sovereignty claims in the East Sea (South China Sea) and said it will raise the issue at the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit, scheduled for July 15-16 in Mongolia.

In a statement, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said Secretary Perfecto Yasay will attend the summit during which he will discuss the Philippines’ peaceful and rules-based approach to the East Sea issue and emphasise the need for the sides to respect the PCA’s recent ruling.

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.

According to the PCA, no islands in the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago entitle China a right to an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and China does not have rights over the 200-nautical mile EEZs of Vanh Khan (Michief) and Co May (Thomas) reefs.

The tribunal also affirmed that the Ba Binh (Itu Aba) feature in Truong Sa is a rock and therefore has no EEZ.

It said Beijing has caused long-term and irreparable harm to the coral ecosystem in Truong Sa archipelago.

The PCA ruling 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.

On July 12, answering questions on Vietnam’s response to the PCA announcing its final ruling, the Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) Spokesperson Le Hai Binh clearly stated: “Vietnam welcomes the fact that the PCA announced its final ruling on July 12, 2016. Vietnam will issue its statement on the content of the ruling.”

Vietnam reiterated its consistent viewpoint on the case as fully shown in the Statement issued on May 12, 2016 by the MoFA sending to the PCA.

In that spirit, Vietnam strongly advocates the settlement of disputes in the East Sea via peaceful measures, including diplomatic and legal processes, opposing the use of force or threat to use force under international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, maintaining peace and stability in the region, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, respecting the principles of putting law above all at seas and oceans.

On the occasion, Vietnam continues affirming its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa archipelagos, its sovereignty over local waters and territorial sea waters, sovereignty rights and ruling rights on the EEZ and the continental shelf that was determined according to the 1982 UNCLOS, as well as all Vietnams’ legal rights and interests concerning geographical structures of the two archipelagos.-VNA