India backs PH in China sea row

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HARD TALK  Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shri Lalduhthlana Ralte (left) fields questions from The Manila Times editors led by President, CEO and Executive Editor Dante F. M. Ang 2nd (third from right) in a roundtable interview at The Times newsroom. Also in photo are (clockwise from left) Managing Editor Ares Gutierrez, desk editor Angel Calso, Publisher Rene Q. Bas, reporter Cath Valente and desk editor Joel Palacios. PHOTO BY MELYN ACOSTA

HARD TALK
Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shri Lalduhthlana Ralte (left) fields questions from The Manila Times editors led by President, CEO and Executive Editor Dante F. M. Ang 2nd (third from right) in a roundtable interview at The Times newsroom. Also in photo are (clockwise from left) Managing Editor Ares Gutierrez, desk editor Angel Calso, Publisher Rene Q. Bas, reporter Cath Valente and desk editor Joel Palacios. PHOTO BY MELYN ACOSTA

MANILA seems to have found a major ally in India in its territorial dispute with China in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

In a roundtable interview with editors and staff of The Manila Times on Tuesday, Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shri Lalduhthlana Ralte said New Delhi, like the Philippines, believes that the only viable and effective way to resolve the dispute is by subjecting the issue to international arbitration.

South Asia’s use of international tribunals to settle maritime disputes, according to him, should be emulated in resolving the South China Sea dispute.

“Our view with that such kind of disputes [is that], the claimant countries should observe international law and norms that disputes are to be settled peacefully. We should allow ourselves to be subjected to international law,” Ralte said.


In July 2014, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled on the Bay of Bengal dispute between India and Bangladesh.

The tribunal, based in The Hague, awarded 19,467 square kilometers of a total disputed area of 25,602 km to Bangladesh.

India accepted the tribunal’s judgment and hailed the court for bringing to closure its long-standing dispute with Bangladesh.

In 2011, the two counties also peacefully resolved their land border dispute

“I think that’s diplomacy all about. Even if we are [the]stronger country, politically or economically, we should abide by internationally accepted principles,” Ralte said.

India is one of Asean’s dialogue partners, alongside Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea and the United States.

Asean, which stands for Association of Southeast Asian Nations, groups the Philippines Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia and Vietnam, along with non-members China and Taiwan, have conflicting claims to parts or all of the South China Sea.

Tensions rose in recent years as China was seen to have become more aggressive in enforcing its claims.

The Philippines and Vietnam took the territorial dispute to the United Nations for arbitration, which China vehemently opposes, insisting that the conflict should be settled bilaterally.

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5 Comments

  1. I am an Aussie Indian. Very happy to note Readers views on India. At a personal level, in last 2 years I visited Philippines about 4 times and I simply love your Country and it’s people. As far as I am concerned I feel just like I am in India whenever I am in Philippines. Waiting to come back . God willing I may chose to retire in this beautiful country of friendly people. Song you sang to welcome Pope, welcome to Philippines always plays in my ears. Thank you.

  2. China will be isolated if not be cast out from the group of nations who believes in the doctrine of United Nations and it’s principles of respect to each member. It will be a backlash for China economically and politically if it continues to ignore the rule of law.

  3. Joel Rodriguez on

    I’ve always been impressed by the Indians as possessing higher morale values than the chinese. I hope they share their nuclear weapons technology with the Philippines…the sooner the better.

  4. India is a true ally of the Philippines. Carlos P. Romolo who was then the UN Secretary General has help frame India’s constitution. Filipinos get Indian visa easier than most Asian nationalities.

  5. Cres Malifier on

    India has long been a truer friend to the Philippines than China. Thee should be closer tis between the two countries and the two peoples.