There seems to be no immediate maritime solutions between Philippines and China. China appears to be claiming the South China Sea along with the Philippine Islands of Luzon and Palwan for itself by exercising its Chinese sovereignty.In a desperate move, the Philippines have appealed to the United Nations tribunal to make the Chinese claim null and void.
China has taken over the rocks of Scarborough Shoal and the area around the Spratly islands and has illegally stopped the Philippine people from fishing or navigating there. It has also exploited the waters and threatened endangered species. This could also be profitable to the Chinese if they find oil and gas. These areas used to be economic zones for the Philippines, but are now facing disruption.
The Chinese ambassador feels that the territorial disputes can be settled amicably. According to a Chinese news agency, Philippines has been rigid with their demands by resorting to UN tribunal. However, the Philippine foreign office believes that arbitration is the best solution.
China is already in a debate over territory with other Asian countries like Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. The Asian power has had a long standing battle with Japan as well over islands in the South China Sea. Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario of Philippines, said it would take 3-4 years to sort out the issue and even if the UN tribunal backs Philippines, it needs to be seen whether China accepts its decision or not.