The Philippines has submitted to a United Nations tribunal supplemental evidence for its arbitration case against China over disputed territories in the resource-rich South China Sea.
The submission, which came to more than 3,000 pages, also mentioned China’s continued and massive reclamation activities in the areas claimed by the Philippines, though not in very great detail said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Charles Jose.
Philippine officials said the additional questions raised by the tribunal meant that the case was actively moving forward even without China’s participation.
The submission, said the DFA, is in response to 26 questions from the tribunal on December 16 last year “requesting additional argument and information” on “issues concerning both the tribunal’s jurisdiction and the merits of the Philippines’ claims, including the Philippines’ principled claim challenging the lawfulness of China’s so-called ‘nine-dash line’.”
The DFA said the Philippines “is confident that its answers to the Tribunal’s questions leave no doubt that the Tribunal has jurisdiction over the case and that the Philippines claims, including in particular its claims concerning the nine-dash line, are well-founded in fact and law.”
Through the position paper, China meant to address the 4,000-page memorial or pleading that the Philippines filed
against China in March 2014. China published this paper a week before its deadline to respond to the Philippines' memorial.
China refused to file a counter-memorial. The position paper is part of China's legal strategy – to reject the arbitral proceedings yet to use media to argue against the Philippines.
China will be given time to issue its own response to the Philippines’ supplemental filing, but will almost certainly not provide any documentation. China has consistently refused to participate in the arbitration process.