Implications of United Nations tribunal ruling on the South China Sea dispute

Last October 29, the permanent court of arbitration under the United Nations unanimously issued its award on jurisdiction and admissibility in connection to the arbitration case between the Philippines and China.

In a statement, the tribunal said that the award concerns only whether the tribunal has jurisdiction to consider the Philippines’ claims and whether such claims are admissible. The awards does not decide any aspect of the merits of the parties’ dispute.”

The tribunal held that both the Philippines and China are parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or UNCLOS and bound by its provisions on settlement of disputes.

What does this mean? What are its implications?

In this episode of ASEAN in Focus, Mr. Chito Sta. Romana, a noted resource person on issues about China, tackles the issue.   Mr. Sta. Romana is a veteran journalist who lived and worked in China for more than three decades.

He is the former Beijing bureau chief for ABC news, the news division of the American Broadcasting Company. He has covered China as a producer and reporter for ABC news from 1989 until his retirement in 2010.