The Philippines on Tuesday asked a global arbitration court to recognize the nation’s right to exploit waters in the South China Sea, taking its maritime territorial fight against Beijing a step further.
Lawyers representing Manila urged the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague to acknowledge the Philippines’ right to areas within 200 nautical miles of its coastline, under the terms of a UN convention.
“Now the court will discuss the meat of our case against China,” Reuters quoted a Philippine foreign ministry spokesman as saying in Manila.
“We are confident that we will get a favorable decision on some of the issues,” he added.
The Philippines will make submissions on 15 claims during the proceedings.
Beijing, which claims economic and territorial rights in almost the entire South China Sea, has boycotted the proceedings and rejects the international court’s authority in the case.
Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia, which also have some maritime issues with China, will observe the Hague court proceedings, which will run until Nov. 30 in private.
A final ruling is expected in mid-2016.
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