South China Sea

Antonio Carpio is a Supreme Court Justice in the Philippines. A man who has played David to China’s Goliath in an international dispute in the South China Sea.

Antonio Carpio: There was a standoff sometime in April of 2012 between Philippine coast guard vessels and China’s coast guard vessels.

Claiming historic rights in 2012, China seized the Philippine waters known as Scarborough Shoal, in one of the world’s busiest commercial waterways, hundreds of miles from the Chinese coast. When China refused to back down, there didn’t seem to be much the small island country could do to reclaim its territory. Until Carpio and other Philippine officials decided to sue.

Antonio Carpio: We had no choice, but since we didn’t have the military capability to retake Scarborough shore, we had to bring a suit against China. We have to sue China before a tribunal at the UN convention.

This past July, the international tribunal ruled that China’s territorial land grab was illegal. But that didn’t end the dispute.

Sharyl Attkisson: The Philippines won its lawsuit against China, correct?

Antonio Carpio: Yes.

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