The award of an arbitral tribunal in the South China Sea arbitration established at the request of the Philippines will resolve nothing and merely stir regional tension, an expert here said Tuesday.
The tribunal handling the South China Sea arbitration case unilaterally initiated by the former Philippine government issued its final award on Tuesday, amid a global chorus that the panel has no jurisdiction.
China, on the same day, said it neither accepts nor recognizes the award. "The award is null and void and has no binding force," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Joseph Matthews, director of ASEAN Education Center, said in an interview with Xinhua that from the beginning, the arbitral tribunal was under the sway of the United States and its ally Japan.
"This is a one-sided verdict based on China-phobia, which ultimately creates the tensions, and confrontational situations in the South China Sea," he said.
Matthews pointed out that the dispute between the Philippines and China is absolutely a bilateral issue, which can only be solved through bilateral dialogue and consultation.
"Today's ruling will change nothing in the South China Sea," he said, adding that China is committed to safeguarding its own territorial sovereignty and legitimate maritime rights as well as peace and stability in the sea.
He also stressed that countries outside the region should not interfere in the South China Sea issue.
"It is very important for the U.S. to stop all kinds of interference and its suggestions regarding the regional conflicts," the expert said.
If the United States opts, however, to continue its intimidating policy and hegemonic presence there, it will clearly show that its intention is to deliberately stir tension in the region, he said.
Matthews noted that it is also the responsibility of the incumbents in Manila to understand and recognize the importance of dialogue and negotiation without involving any third party.
"Manila should and must be mindful that any conflict in the region will jeopardize its economy and regional stability, and hence must not let outsiders guide or sway it on the foreign and internal policy of the Philippines," he said.