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South China Sea Issue-Arbitration undermines peaceful resolution

William Jones, Washington Bureau Chief of U.S. publication Executive Intelligence Review, says China wants to resolve the issue through negotiations, but the Philippines, with U.S. backing, feels it can “play hardball” on the issue by taking the disputes to the arbitration tribunal.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): WILLIAM JONES, Washington Bureau Chief, Executive Intelligence Review
“Arbitration normally is a case when two parties cannot successfully negotiate a problem. Then they would both say ok, we can’t do it. Let’s get an objective outsider to decide. But that (Manila’s action) is not the case at all, because there have been effectively no negotiations between the Philippines and China on this issue.”

Meanwhile, the United States can use the arbitration as a way to limit China’s territorial claims and strengthen its allies.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): WILLIAM JONES, Washington Bureau Chief, Executive Intelligence Review
“Both of them gain a certain advantage of that in trying to delimit the rightful claims, I think, of China in terms of its territorial demands.”

Jones added that the freedom of navigation in the region has never been threatened, “certainly not by the Chinese.”

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): WILLIAM JONES, Washington Bureau Chief, Executive Intelligence Review
“Chinese trade is very dependent on freedom of navigation in the South China Sea to get what they need to support their population. So they have no reason to threaten that.”

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