LAST July 12 was the seventh anniversary of the awarding of the ruling in favor of the Philippines in the case filed by the Philippines against China before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague and heard by an arbitration panel constituted under the dispute settlement provisions (Article 7) of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos).

For the occasion, several countries, among them major economic and maritime powers, through their embassies in the Philippines, issued statements reaffirming their support for the arbitral ruling and calling on China to respect and stop its violations of the ruling. These countries included the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the European Union delegation and EU members Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Poland, Austria, Romania, Slovakia, Finland and Sweden. The statements reflect the growing realization of the international community that while the arbitral ruling is binding only on the Philippines and China, it has critical implications for the whole of mankind.

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