A Chinese envoy to the United Nations (UN) called for all parties to defend the authority and integrity of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) here Thursday.
Wu Haitao, China's deputy permanent representative to the UN, made the appeal at a meeting on issues concerning the UNCLOS.
Wu said the UNCLOS provides a comprehensive legal framework and acts as an essential basis for activities of all states in the seas.
"It is incumbent upon all parties to hold fast to the purposes of the convention, interpret and apply the convention as well as the dispute settlement provisions therein accurately and in good faith," he said.
Responding to the South China Sea arbitration case raised at the meeting, Wu said the arbitral tribunal is "wrongly instituted," has the "wrong jurisdiction" and will produce a "wrong award."
He stressed that "the arbitration procedures under the convention manifestly do not apply to the matter" and "the arbitral tribunal has no jurisdiction over this matter."
"The essence of the case is a matter of territorial sovereignty and delimitation of maritime boundaries. The real intention (of this case) is to deny China's territorial sovereignty and legitimate rights," said the Chinese representative.
The Philippines has unilaterally filed an arbitration case against China over the South China Sea disputes. The move went against an agreement it reached with China in the mid-1990s on settling their disputes through negotiation.
China has excluded maritime delimitation from compulsory arbitration in a declaration it made in 2006 in accordance with Article 298 of the UNCLOS and has made it clear it will not accept or get involved in those proceedings.
Wu said that China's position of non-participation, non-acceptance and non-recognition on the case is aimed at defending China's own legitimate interest under international law.
It is also aimed at maintaining the integrity and authority of the convention and safeguarding the international rule of law, he said.
China will continue to settle disputes through negotiation and to manage disputes by setting up rules and introducing mechanisms, and strive for mutually beneficial outcomes through development and cooperation, Wu said.
"We will also safeguard the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea as well as peace and stability in the region," he added.