The Philippines will raise the protest to UN tribunal for Chinas' invasion - Sino no comment

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty, is the international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), which took place from 1973 through 1982. The Law of the Sea Convention defines the rights and responsibilities of nations in their use of the world's oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources. The Convention, concluded in 1982, replaced four 1958 treaties. UNCLOS came into force in 1994, a year after Guyana became the 60th state to sign the treaty. To date, 161 countries and the European Community have joined in the Convention..

Jul 11, 2011 - The Philippines told China it plans to take their Spratly Islands dispute to a United Nations tribunal in trying to resolve their conflicting claims peacefully, the Philippine foreign secretary said.

At their meeting in Beijing first week of July 2011, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi did not respond on China's thoughts about the Philippine plan, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said.

"The Chinese position has not changed," del Rosario told a news conference. "Our position also has not changed. Our claims are based on international law."

Both sides did agree the disputes should not damage overall relations, del Rosario said.

President Benigno Aquino III plans to visit China in late August or early September 2011. The nations are trying to cool tensions after the Philippines alleged Chinese forces repeatedly intruded into the West Philippines’ Sea – Philippines claimed Spratly areas since February.

The chain of barren, largely uninhabited islands, reefs and banks in the West Philippines’ Sea (WPS) or  South China Sea are claimed entirety or partly by China, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Brunei. They are believed to be the 4th largest deposit of  oil and natural gas which said to be and straddle a busy international sea lane.

The Spratlys are regarded as a potential flashpoint for armed conflict.

In one of the most serious incidents, Philippine officials said a Chinese naval vessel allegedly fired to scare away Filipino fishermen from Jackson Atoll in the province of Palawan, near the Spratlys.

In March, Chinese patrol boats threatened a Filipino oil exploration ship into leaving the Reed Bank, which the Philippine government has said is within its regular territorial waters and not part of the Spratlys.

Yang said there were no intrusions because those waters belonged to China, del Rosario said. "Of course, we disputed their position," he said.

Del Rosario did not elaborate on what the Philippines intends to raise before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea, which decides cases stemming from the 1982 U.N. convention ratified by both countries.

Two Filipino diplomats said the Philippines intend to ask the U.N. tribunal if China's claim to the entire South China Sea conforms to the U.N. convention. That claim, which surfaced in 2009 as a map China submitted to the U.N., is rejected by the Philippines and other claimants in ASEAN countries with stakes of 200 Nautical Miles Exclusive Economic Zone.

The Spratlys has a history of deadly territorial clashes. In the worst fighting, Chinese and Vietnamese navies fought at Johnson Reef in the Spratlys in 1988 in a fierce battle that sank several Vietnamese boats and killed more than 70 Vietnamese sailors.

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