A Filipino legal expert on Friday warned that bringing the Scarborough Shoal issue to the attention of the United Nations’ Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in Washington will only complicate the standoff between China and the Philippines.
Professor Merlin Magallona of the University of the Philippines (UP) told the Senate committee on foreign relations that such a move may not resolve the issue because China is a permanent UN member.
Aside from this, Magallona said, China does not want the interference of other countries in resolving its territorial dispute with the Philippines.
“The intervention of the United States in Scarborough Shoal will only complicate the territorial row between China and the Philippines,” Magallona warned.
The Senate committee on foreign relations headed by Senatorconducted a public hearing after China was reported to have deployed additional warships in the Scarborough Shoal.
The Chinese government, meanwhile, hopes that United States will issue a reasonable response regarding the standoff between the Philippines and China in Scarborough Shoal.
In a statement published in a Chinese state media Thursday, Chinese deputy foreign minister Cui Tiankai said issues related to South China Sea had already been explained three times during a "strategic consultations" with the US.
"I hope it would help keep the American side to adopting a reasonable position. The South China Sea issue is not an issue between China and the US, because the US does not have claims over the South China Sea and does not take sides, and we take this position as a reasonable one," Cui said.
Cui issued statement Thursday afternoon after Secretary Albert del Rosario of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) told a press conference on the same day that Philippines will tell Washington about the incident in Scarborough Shoal.
Although China has rejected many times the call of the Philippine government to bring to the attention of the international court the territorial dispute, foreign affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said the door remains open for the response from Beijing.
Meanwhile, a group of Filipinos abroad is mulling over the launching of a worldwide protest against the alleged interference by China in the territory of the Philippines.
According to the US Pinoys for Good Governance, the group plans to stage protest before the Chinese embassies in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Vancouver, Sydney, Singapore, Rome and Hong Kong.
US Pinoys for Good Governance president Loida Nicolas Lewis said they want to show the unity of the Filipino community against "bullying" of China.