PARIS, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Arbitration by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) following the unilateral application of the Philippines over its dispute with China in the South China Sea "would endanger the peace and stability" in the region, said French sinologue Pierre Picquart.
"What seems questionable is a so-called 'international arbitration,' unrecognized by China, trying to impose a settlement between Beijing and Manila," Picquart told Xinhua in a recent interview.
While the PCA is about to announce on July 12 its decision over the request of the Philippines, presented unilaterally in 2013 concerning the territorial dispute between Beijing and Manila in the South China Sea, China has repeatedly stated that it does not recognize the legitimacy of the court in this case and therefore can not accept its conclusions.
According to him, "the interference, by one or more third parties with an indirect interest inviting other countries and organizations to express their opposition against China, would complicate and endanger the peace and stability in the South China Sea."
"The arbitration over the South China Sea demanded by former Philippine president Benigno S. Aquino III will not lead to a peaceful solution. However, the new president of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte wants to have a conversation with China over the disputes in the South China Sea, in order to, presumably, to have a mutually beneficial relationship (with China)," Picquart said.
The China expert stressed that "China has always encouraged 'win-win' partnerships and the bilateral dialogue in solving border issues."
"This applies with the Philippines, just as in all other disputes in the South China Sea," and "is consistent and logical that Beijing legitimately preserves its historic interests," he explained.
Picquart hopes that the dispute between China and the Philippines "would be settled through bilateral negotiations based on respect for historical facts and in accordance with international law."
He also wishes Manila would work with Beijing to "appropriately find a balance in these disputes for the peace in the South China Sea."