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    Posted April 4, 2014 by

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    Philippines asks China: Clarify 9-dash line

    THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Manila stressed Friday that the memorial it submitted to the Arbitral Tribunal was only seeking clarification of China’s claim of indisputable sovereignty over nearly the entire South China Sea.
    In a statement posted on its website, the DFA said the Philippine government has done so for reasons it has widely explained.
    “To recall, we have done so primarily to seek clarification of China’s claim of indisputable sovereignty over nearly the entire South China Sea on the basis of their so-called “9-dash line” which is an excessive and expansive claim. This is in gross violation of international law,” the foreign affairs department said.
    It said that by going to arbitration, the Philippines has signaled its fidelity to international law.
    “The Philippines, at this point, will not be able to reply to detailed questions regarding its submission to the Arbitral Tribunal since this matter is sub judice,” the statement further clarified.
    It also said the Philippines made clear that it will continue to exercise self-restraint and will not raise tension in the South China Sea.
    It stressed that the Philippines is not the country that has greatly increased its naval and maritime presence in the South China Sea. Nor has it challenged freedom of navigation. Nor has it blockaded nor forcefully intimidated any other country in the South China Sea.
    “Countries should be judged by their actions, not by their words. We reiterate that arbitration is a peaceful, friendly and a durable settlement mechanism under international law. With the submission of the Philippine Memorial and with the support of the Filipino people, we are defending what is legitimately and rightfully ours,” the DFA concluded.
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