The Philippines will adhere without compromise to a 2016 court victory that nullified China’s claims in most of the South China Sea, its top diplomat said.
“The award is non-negotiable,” Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin said in a statement on Sunday.
He was commemorating the fourth anniversary of a Permanent Court of Arbitration’s decision which ruled China had no historic right to resources within the seas falling within its ‘nine-dash line’.
Locsin on Sunday also called on China to comply with the award, which he said is a victory for the Philippines and other law-abiding nations.
His statement comes weeks after Vietnam and the Philippines, in a regional summit, raised concerns about repeated violations of maritime rules amid growing grievances with China over its territorial claims.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte last year said he would ignore the 2016 court ruling in order to advance oil exploration plans with Beijing.