China respecting Tribunal verdict or be pictured as ‘rogue nation’

Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Cuisia on Tuesday said he hopes a victory for the Philippines in its case against China before The Hague-based tribunal would prompt Beijing to seek a resolution of the disputes in the South China Sea in a peaceful and diplomatic manner.

China has repeatedly said that it does not recognize Manila’s case nor would it abide by the court’s decision, a move, which Cuisia warned, that may entail “some cost” to Beijing.

“China of course values its reputation in the international community. They are a rising power and of course they would like to enjoy the respect of the international community,” Cuisia said. “I don’t think they want to be pictured as a rogue nation.”

Cuisia said he expects China to sit down with the Philippines to settle the matter diplomatically even though it would be “unrealistic” to expect that to happen right away.

“It will take time,” he said. “Maybe it will take a number of years before we get to that point, but hopefully China will realize that it is to their interest to resolve the issue peacefully in a manner that is mutually satisfactory because it cannot be just one-sided.”

“We hope that they will be more reasonable in addressing this issue,” Cuisia said although he admitted that “there’s nothing that really can force China if they refuse to do anything or refuse to abide by the decision.”

“However, what we will probably do, we will always bring it up in all international fora. We will be pointing out that China is not following the rule of law,” Cuisia said.