US calls for ASEAN unity on South China Sea ruling, warns China of risking reputation
Apr 29, 2016 01:44 AM EDT
On Thursday, United States said China is risking terrible damage to its reputation should it continue to ignore the impending international court ruling on the claims of South China Sea. US also urged the ASEAN community to comply with the court's decision.
According to Reuters, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hauge is set to give their ruling in the coming weeks regarding the long-running China and Philippines dispute. The case that was filed by the Philippines focuses on China's claim to the South China Sea, which is known as a strategic route for world's trade and oil.
Many expects for the ruling to be in favor of Philippines but it would risk raising relevant regional tensions because China rejects the court's authority to hear it.
Yahoo wrote that US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a House of Representatives hearing China that 'they cannot have it both ways' through being a party to the convention but rejecting the provisions. He said "China has a decision to make. If it ignores the decision, it risks doing terrible damage to its reputation, further alienating countries in the region and pushing them even closer to the United States."
Daily Mail published that Washington has been keen on convincing countries of the court's ruling, expected in May or early June, to be abided. The court has no enforcement powers and its decisions have been ignored in the past. Previously, in the February summit, US President Barack Obama and ASEAN leaders agreed that territorial disputes should be resolved with peace and legal measures.
China has been lobbying hard and said that it agreed with three ASEAN countries including Brunei, Cambodia and Laos that South China Sea ruling must not affect their relations between the bloc and Beijing. However, when asked if this is an attempt to split the 10-country ASEAN, Blink said 'I think there's a lot less there than meets the eye."