By: Elena Grace Flores
The last hearing that took place at the Hague was described to be attended by 3 technology-armed Filipino lawyers as they were facing 3 empty chairs for the Chinese delegations who never acknowledged the authority of the international tribunal over the South China Sea disputes despite their Unclos membership. They continued to snob the tribunal for the last 3 years but the ruling is already set for July 12, 2016 with alternatives in place should China disobeys.
However, their great resistance can be felt over their aggressive persistence in showing off their power in terms of warfare capabilities. In recent days, military exercises are seen by witnesses to be in operation along the Paracel Islands where its sovereignty is also questioned. The Americans were irked knowing that they have boasted having installed surface to air missiles in this naval area, making Philippines believe that they are indeed nervous that the somewhat favorable ruling to the Filipinos would trigger their allies to defend them due to China’s undermining international laws and disrespecting the United Nations itself through this lenghty process.
In fact, China has gone as far as reclaiming various islands in these areas in the South China Sea for airstrips and radar readiness. As expected, the tribunal will rule in favor of the Philippines on at least the major points, and President Xi Jinping of China will have to enhance their defense more with the alleged backing up of Russia and other African States that are dependent on the financial aids contributed by the once sleeping giant, China. The U.S.A and the U.K. apparently are also getting ready in counteracting Russia as they vowed to defend the Philippines.