JOHN Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State, has called for China and the Philippines to accept the Hague tribunal’s ruling on the much-disputed South China Sea region.
Reuters reports that Kerry, 72, made the remarks during an address to students in New Delhi, where he had been visiting for two days. His input also comes just a few days before the G20 Summit is to be held in China on September 4 and 5, which will be attended by world leaders.
He was quoted saying: “This is a crucial opportunity to uphold the existing rules-based international order, show respect for international law, and support regional stability and prosperity.”
In July, the Hague Tribunal ruled in an arbitration case that China breached the Philippines’ sovereign rights by encroaching on the latter’s territory in the South China Sea to explore resources. It also lay blame on China for causing permanent and irreparable harm to the coral reef eco-system surrounding the Spratlys Island.
China vehemently rejected the tribunal’s verdict, and accused the Philippines of “political provocation”. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the decision was “irresponsible to the Filipino people and the future of the Philippines”.
After the ruling was made, Kerry encouraged both countries to find diplomatic solutions to ease tensions, reported the Guardian.