Duterte: No amount of disregard can diminish PH's arbitral win over China

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 22) — President Rodrigo Duterte, who previously called the Philippines' arbitral win against China "just" a piece of paper, is now saying that noncompliance from the side of Beijing cannot diminish its worth.

"The Award must be seen for what it is — a benefit across the board to all who subscribe to the majesty of the law," the President said in his recorded virtual address to the 76th United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday

"No amount of willful disregard by any country, however big and powerful, can diminish the Arbitral Award’s importance," he stressed.

Beijing continues to reject the 2016 landmark ruling of the arbitral tribunal in The Hague which recognized the Philippines' sovereign rights in areas within its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

It continuously disregards the ruling, proven by numerous Chinese vessels regularly seen in the disputed waters despite diplomatic protests filed by the Philippines.

RELATED: China says PH’s 2016 arbitral win 'illegal, null, and void’

Duterte said the country will continue to resolve sea disputes peacefully — a position he has kept during his administration due to fear of a war with the powerful nation.

This was Duterte's second appearance at the UNGA since he took office in 2016.