MANILA — The Philippines is to ask China to agree to take a dispute over an uninhabited South China Sea shoal to an international court as the two sides traded new accusations of intrusions.
The most recent dispute between China and the Philippines has entered its second week, with a Philippine coast guard ship and two Chinese maritime surveillance vessels faced off near the Scarborough Shoal.
“In pursuing a peaceful settlement of the Scarborough Shoal issue, we fully intend to humbly invite our Chinese friends to join us in the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea,” Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said in a statement.
“The purpose of the exercise will be to ascertain which of us has sovereign rights over the waters surrounding Scarborough Shoal, where Chinese ships are currently engaging in illegal activities within the Philippine exclusive economic zone.”
Beijing has yet to comment on Manila’s invitation but is unlikely to agree. — Reuters