Here is a snippet from Philstar May 3 issue:
China rejected again a Philippine invitation to bring the matter to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).
Liu said China has full historical and jurisprudential evidence for its sovereignty over Panatag Shoal, noting that it is “completely in line with international law.”
Liu claimed the shoal is outside of the Philippine territory in accordance with relevant international treaties that set the territorial limits of the Philippines.
The spokesperson accused the Philippines of unilaterally misinterpreting the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
“Its (Philippines) claim of a 200-nautical miles of exclusive economic zones has impaired China’s territorial claim, which is in itself against international law. International rules are made jointly by all countries in the world and countries, big or small, should abide by them. We believe the public are able to tell right from wrong,” Liu said.
If China has strong legal claims, then by all means let the dispute be presented to the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea. Refusal is a mark of bullying and only shows that China is only interested in the maritime riches surrounding the Panatag (Scarborough Shoals).
The Law of the Sea has I think preeminence over minor historical events which supposedly justify the claims of China.
On the one hand, the Philippines should have a stronger PERMANENT PHYSICAL presence in the shoals and should build a tower over the highest part.