South China Sea anger: Philippines told to take Beijing to UN as tensions erupt over seas.

Several experts and scholars have urged the Philippines to stand-up to China and raise an arbitral victory before the UN over disputes over the South China Sea region. Bill Hayton, and expert and scholar on the region as well as a BBC journalist, has described his frustration over Philippines’ refusal to raise any sort of defiance against China.

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Mr Hayton, author of the book ‘The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia’ said he believe the Philippines "has plenty of options between pointless war and abject surrender”.

He said: "That's what diplomacy is. In this struggle, Manila has many friends all around the world. They are willing to help.”

Teodoro Locsin Jr, foreign affairs secretary of Philippines stayed well within the government’s reasoning for not raising any objection to China.

He claimed that ASEAN has lost the award in UN multilateral subgroups such as the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), a forum of more than 100 developing states.

The Philippines has been urged to take its case to the UN
The Philippines has been urged to take its case to the UN (Image: GETTY)
Teodoro Locsin Jr said China's influence cannot be countered
Teodoro Locsin Jr said China's influence cannot be countered (Image: GETTY)

He said: “China's influence cannot be countered. Anyone who thinks different is ignorant. The Hague Award is too valuable to lose in a forlorn fight.”

Because of this, Mr Locsin Jr said that it was “not a good idea to re-litigate the same issues."

He explained: “We lost in the UN's NAM at least 3 times since I assumed the UN and now this post. I boycotted NAM but realised we were not there; but ASEAN was or some of it; and to no avail.”

However, Mr Hayton said international law was on the side of the Philippines and that the nation should not be so destitute in its pursuit of justice.

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Tensions are ever increasing in the region
Tensions are ever increasing in the region (Image: GETTY)

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He cited statements by 28 European Union states and the G7 expressing legal support for the Philippines.

Mt Hayton said: “You have international law on your side, 28 EU states agreeing to a statement in your support, G7 statements calling for maritime rules to be respected, a treaty ally committed to the defence of your ships and a cadre of competent diplomats.

“What more does the Philippines need?”

Referring to international law, Mr Locsin Jr said: "That's just a scrap of paper, to quote a famous European.”


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Military excursions in the surrounding waters are common place
Military excursions in the surrounding waters are common place (Image: GETTY)
Many have called for an end to China's presence in the region
Many have called for an end to China's presence in the region (Image: GETTY)

Although the Philippines claims it is apparently hamstring in its options against China, many say that the Philippines is in no way attempting to help itself in order for international law to help it.

In regards to this, Mr Hayton said he does not see "signs of activity from Manila that would advance the Philippines' interests”.

Mr Locsin Jr has insisted that the Philippines is on to the case and that it is “not just verbally committed but enforcing as far as they can the Arbitral Award in every forum.

“Never ever question the loyalty of the DFA to the country and the national interest regardless of administration. In the UN I led the attack and told a career to keep it low; I have nothing to lose; they have lots; but still they fight hard and openly.”

China currently dominates the region
China currently dominates the region (Image: Express Newspapers)

Mr Hayton is not alone in his calls for the Philippines to raise arbitral victory against China before the UN.

Albert del Rosario, the Philippines’ former foreign affairs chief, last week insisted that the nation must bring its case before the UN.

Mr Rosario explained that his country should still take the dispute to the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling to the UN so that it could be heard by nearly 200 world leaders.

He said: "The UN serves as not only the primary promoter of the rule of law but also the court of world public opinion.”

Several conventions have taken place to try and ease relations
Several conventions have taken place to try and ease relations (Image: GETTY)


The former foreign affairs chief expressed confidence in Foreign Affairs Secretary Mr Locsin Jr.'s ability to "undertake what is required in moving forward our case on the arbitral tribunal outcome."

He said: "As we suggested earlier, it would take time and hard work but it can be done.”

Despite the Philippines being backed by both European nations and former ministers, the outcome looks bleak, with China recently having not participated in the international arbitration and does not recognise the verdict.

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