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South China Sea Ruling in Hague Could Be Mid-2016: Philippines Lawyer

South China Sea Ruling in Hague Could Be Mid-2016: Philippines Lawyer

WASHINGTON — The chief counsel for the Philippines in its Hague tribunal case against China over competing claims in the South China Sea said on Friday a final ruling could come as early as June next year.

Paul Reichler said he also believed that in spite of China's rejection of the case, international pressure would eventually oblige Beijing to comply with a ruling against it.

In a legal setback for Beijing on Thursday, the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that it has jurisdiction to hear some territorial claims the Philippines has filed against China over disputed areas in the South China Sea.

Reichler called this a "major victory" and said he expected an oral hearing on the merits of the Philippines' case would be held by the end of the year and a final ruling made within six months of that.

"We are talking about a final judgment being issued right in the middle of 2016, perhaps June of 2016, but I am only speculating at this point," he said.

"For the Philippines, having now established that there is jurisdiction for the tribunal to consider its claim ... leaves us very optimistic that the ultimate outcome will be very successful," Reichler said.

Manila filed the case in 2013 to seek a ruling on its right to exploit the South China Sea waters in its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone as allowed under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

China has boycotted the proceedings and rejects the court's authority in the case. Beijing claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea, dismissing claims to parts of it from Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei.

Reichler said it was "inevitable" that China would one day have to seek some accommodation with a judgment against it if it wanted to be seen as a state that respected international law.

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Comment by Black Swan Tactical on November 1, 2015 at 3:00am

Note: I'm off Facebook.  They asked me for an ID, and I declined, so I closed the account.

I'll be keeping readers aware of news regarding Japan/S Korea/Philippines issues in South Chica Seas via my account here.

Hope all my Filipino friends, acquaintances, and instructors and their families are safe, wherever they may be.



Comment by Black Swan Tactical on November 1, 2015 at 4:03am

China deployed J-11BH aircraft to deal with US patrol near artificial islands in South China Sea

The following is based on a translation of a report in Chinese from pro-China Hong Kong media:

Hong Kong’s Singtao Daily said in its report early today that the Chinese military have published a set of photos showing that it has deployed J-11BH heavy fighters at an airport on Yongxing Island in the South China Sea, in response to a U.S. warship’s patrol of the waters within 12 nautical miles of China’s artificial islands.

Previously China deployed J-8IIs at Lingshui Airfield to patrol the South China Sea.

As the J-8II only has a range of 2,500 km, it is only able to stay for a few minutes in remote areas of the the South China Sea.

Now, China is deploying J-11BHs with a range of 5,200 km from Yongxing Island, 350 km further into the South China Sea, to effectively patrol the South China Sea in response to the U.S. warship’s patrol.

The J-11BHs belong to the Wang Wei Regiment of the PLA air force.

Wang Wei was the fighter who intercepted a U.S. renaissance aircraft in April 2001 when the U.S. aircraft allegedly came too close to China, and died due to the clash between the two aircraft.

He was later honoured as a “Sea-air Hero” and the regiment he was in was renamed the Wang Wei regiment in his memory.

For the deployment of the longer-range and more powerful and advanced fighter/bombers, the runway on Yongxing Island was lengthened to 3,000 metres last year.

That shows that China has been preparing for the U.S. planned move of patrolling the waters.

Singtao says China has plans to build more runways on the artificial islands in the South China Sea.

When those runways are put into operation, China will have much greater capabilities to control the South China Sea and expel America.


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