MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines has filed before an international tribunal its evidence against China’s sweeping territorial claims in the South China Sea despite Beijing’s warning that the case will damage ties.
Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said Sunday that the documents submitted to the tribunal in The Hague consist of nearly 4,000 pages explaining the merits of the Philippine case.
Filipino officials took their territorial disputes with China to international arbitration in January last year after Chinese government ships took control of a disputed shoal off the northwestern Philippines.
They asked the tribunal to declare China’s claims to about 80 percent of the strategic waters and Beijing’s seizure of eight South China Sea shoals and reefs illegal.
China, which claims the area on historical grounds, says it won’t participate in the case.