China rejects arbitration on South China Sea

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail CRI, May 6, 2016
Adjust font size:

Chinese authorities are throwing cold-water on any suggestion China will accept impending results of a UN arbitration panel's deliberations on a territorial dispute with the Philippines in the South China Sea.

The UN Court of Arbitration is due to release the findings of its Philippine-initiated probe into the dispute over the Nansha Islands in the coming few weeks.

Addressing its impending release, Ouyang Yujing, Director-General of the Chinese Foreign Ministry's Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs, is taking issue with the Philippines for unilaterally launching the arbitration process in the first place in 2013.

"China and Philippines reached consensus on the settlement of issues in the South China Sea through bilateral negotiations. We have said we won't allow the dispute to be settled through other dispute settlement procedures. Therefore the arbitration court has no jurisdiction on the dispute between China and the Philippines. This arbitration case has been illegal from the start."

But while saying the Chinese side will not accept the results of the arbitration panel, regardless of whether it's for or against China, Ouyang Yujing says the door remains open for one-on-one negotiations.

"Look, it's not as though we don't want to resolve the dispute in the South China Sea. We do. But what we want is to resolve the territorial dispute through direct negotiations, as we have clearly stated in our agreements with the Philippines and through the Declaration of Conduct agreement with ASEAN."

Responding to suggestions China would be in violation of international law by not adhering to any ruling by the UN Arbitration Panel, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei suggests it's the Philippines which has been breaking international law.

"The core of the territorial dispute between China and the Philippines is that the latter is attempting to harm China's interests in the Nansha Islands. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea doesn't apply to this case. China firmly opposes a certain country's taking hostage the international rule of law for its own selfish gains. They are violating the law under the guise of the 'rule of law,' and China won't accept any of these acts."

Chinese authorities have refused to take part in the UN arbitration panel hearings.

However, despite the entrenched positions on both sides right now, there may be a window opening for movement on the Philippine side.

The current front-runner to replace outgoing Philippine President Benigno Aquino III in next week's elections, Roderigo Duterte, is on-record saying he's willing to open direct negotiations with China to bring the dispute to a resolution.

This is something the outgoing Aquino has refused to do.


Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:    
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from