China is ready to begin negotiations with the Philippines on South China Sea-related issues if Manila ignores an arbitration ruling expected next week on their territorial dispute, according to a report.
The negotiations could cover issues such as joint development and cooperation in scientific research “if the new [Philippines] government puts the tribunal’s ruling aside”, China Daily said, citing sources.
It was referring to a ruling expected on July 12 by Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on a case brought by the Philippines.
The case contests China’s claims to the bulk of the South China Sea, a body of water through which US$5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year, Reuters noted.
China has said it plans to ignore the court’s ruling.
The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims with China in the area.
Beijing has rejected the arbitration case, claiming the court has no jurisdiction and saying it wants to solve the issue bilaterally.
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