|Desiree Sison |||Jun 30, 2016 06:33 AM EDT|
(Photo : Getty Images) The Philippines' chief legal counsel on its South China Sea case against Beijing said China should respect the outcome of the case or risk being tagged as an "outlaw state" by the international community for not obeying the rule of law
China risks being branded as an "outlaw state" by the international community if it will not respect the verdict of the Hague-based arbitration tribunal on the Philippines' case against Beijing on the South China Sea dispute, which is expected to be handed down on July 12.
The Philippines' chief counsel on the case, Paul Reichler, said on Wednesday he was optimistic that the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration would widely go in favor of Manila, despite Beijing's pronouncements that it does not recognize the court's jurisdiction and will ignore the impending ruling.
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Reichler said the ruling would leave Beijing bereft of any legal basis to its 90 percent claim to the disputed South China Sea.
The Philippines challenged the legality and validity of China's claims to the disputed waters in a territorial case it filed before the international arbitration court three years ago.
Reichler said China will be seen by the international community as an "outlaw state" once it rejects the South China Sea ruling, saying Beijing does not respect the rule of law.
The South China Sea is believed to contain huge deposits of gas and oil and has several Southeast Asian countries laying claims to the disputed international waterway.
The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Taiwan have overlapping claims to the reefs and islands of the disputed sea, through which $5 trillion worth of ship-borne trade passes each year.
Tensions in the region have been heightened, sparking the risk of a potential military confrontation between Beijing and Washington, and among the claimant states.
"We are confident we will have success on the merits," said Reichler in a press conference following the announcement of the ruling date by the court.
Beijing has repeatedly invoked the "nine-dash line" in its claims to the South China Sea, which encompass the maritime territories of its Southeast Asian neighbors, including hundreds of reefs, islands, and rich fishing grounds.
Manila has maintained that China's claims violated the provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and prevented it from exercising its rights to exploit the resources and the rich fishing grounds within its exclusive economic zone.
Beijing, for its part,denounced the Philippines for disregarding international law when it filed its case against China, saying it would not recognize any decision of third parties on South China Sea issues.
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