China won’t accept Hague sovereignty arbitration: FM

BEIJING, July 14 (Xinhua) — China will refuse to recognize the conclusion of the arbitration requested by the Philippines over the two countries’ maritime sovereignty dispute, a spokesperson said on Tuesday, after an international tribunal heard the matter at the Hague.

“China has repeatedly expounded its position of not accepting or getting involved in these proceedings initiated unilaterally by the Philippines,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Hua Chunying said.

“On the issue of territorial sovereignty and maritime rights, China will never accept any imposed plan, nor any solution arrived at by unilaterally resorting to a third party for resolving disputes,” Hua said.

The Philippines filed its arbitration case at the Hague in early 2013. The hearing on jurisdiction and admissibility began last week and was concluded on Monday.

China refused to be involved in the proceedings, citing a policy of resolving disputes on territorial sovereignty and maritime rights only through direct consultation and negotiation with the countries directly involved.

This is common practice in the international community, and has been consistently applied by China, said Hua, urging the Philippines to negotiate directly with China.

She said China’s stance is based on international law and has been clearly stated in the position paper published by the Foreign Ministry in December in response to the arbitration.

The Philippines’ initiation of the arbitration ignored China’s legitimate rights under such international laws as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and breached commitments made by the Philippines not to unilaterally seek arbitration, according to Hua.

The spokesperson laid the blame for the current tension in the South China Sea on the the Philippines, saying it has illegally occupied Chinese islands there since the 1970s.

“Despite being the victim of the South China sea disputes, China remains highly restrained and keeps safeguarding regional peace and stability in mind,” Hua said.


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