THE Philippines and China have agreed to shun the use of threat and force in handling the issue on the South China Sea, which includes the West Philippine Sea.
In a joint statement released yesterday, both the Philippines and China agreed that the dispute should not get in the way of the other aspects of the nations’ relationship.
“Both sides exchanged views on the importance of handling the disputes in the South China Sea in an appropriate manner,” the statement said.
“Both sides also reaffirm the importance of maintaining and promoting peace and stability, freedom of navigation in and over-flight above the South China Sea, addressing their territorial and jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means, without resorting to the threat or use of force, through friendly consultations and negotiations by sovereign states directly concerned, in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, including the Charter of the United Nations and the 1982 UNCLOS,” the joint statement also wrote.
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) was the basis of the Philippines’ case against China at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague.
The PCA in July ruled in favor of the Philippines, which asserted that Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc) was the traditional fishing ground of Filipino fishermen. The local fishermen had been harassed by Chinese Coast Guard in the West Philippine Sea.