Commentary gives China's reasons for refusing arbitration on South China Sea issue

From: Xinhua Updated: 2014-04-01 09:40
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BEIJING, April 1 (Xinhua) -- China will neither accept nor participate in international arbitration unilaterally pushed forward by the Philippines on the South China Sea disputes, said a commentary published on Tuesday's People's Daily.

The act of the Philippine side is against the international law and the historical truth as well as against morality and basic rules of international relations, said the commentary.

On January 22, 2013, the Philippines presented a note to China, saying it would submit the South China Sea dispute to the compulsory dispute settlement mechanism under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

On Sunday, the Philippines filed a formal plea to an international tribunal on the dispute.

The Chinese government had reiterated on several occasions that the core of South China Sea dispute between China and the Philippines is about the sovereignty over part of the isles of the Nansha Islands and overlapping claims of jurisdiction of waters in the South China Sea, said the commentary.

The dispute over territory sovereignty does not apply to the UNCLOS, the commentary said. In addition, China had made a statement in accordance with the UNCLOS in 2006, noting that such disputes as ocean boundary and historical rights are not subject to UNCLOS compulsory dispute settlement mechanism.

As is widely known, the South China Sea Islands, including the Nansha Islands, have long been China's territory since ancient times, a fact that has been accepted or acquiesced in by many countries including the Philippines.

In the 1970s, the Philippines sent troops and invaded some of these islands, severely violating the Charter of the United Nations and the international norms.

Instead of withdrawing from the invaded Chinese territory, as China had been requesting, the Philippines further provoked China and pushed forward the so-called international arbitration, a move that is both illegal and unreasonable, the commentary said.

China has consistently contended that the disputes surrounding the South China Sea should be solved through consultations and negotiations of directly involved parties, a consensus also agreed on by the Philippine side.

The attempt to push forward the dispute to the arbitration by the Philippines is an act lacking credibility, the commentary said.

By doing so, the Philippines attempted to solicit international sympathy through disguising itself as a small and weak country, it said.

Meanwhile, the Philippines tried to defame China by allegedly safeguarding the international rule of law, and attempted to legalize its invasion of Chinese islands through the arbitration.

The Chinese government has firm resolution to safeguard its sovereignty, and it is in accordance with the international law that China refuses to accept the arbitration, the commentary said.

While the Philippine side tried to shut the door of bilateral talks by unilaterally pushing forward the arbitration, China has kept its door of negotiations open all the time.

China urges the Philippine side to correct its mistake, adhere to its promises, and come back to the right track of bilateral negotiations, said the commentary.

The arbitration move pushed by the Philippines will not impair China's determination and willpower to safeguard national sovereignty and maritime interests and rights, nor will it change China's constant stand and policy in dealing with the South China Sea issue, said the commentary.

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