Cambodia retains stance of not backing arbitration court's award over South China Sea: spokesman

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Cambodia on Tuesday maintained its position of not supporting the arbitration court's award over the South China Sea dispute between the Philippines and China, a government spokesman said.

The former Philippine government unilaterally filed compulsory arbitration against China at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in 2013 with respect to the two sides' dispute in the South China Sea. An award was issued on Tuesday.

"We remain with our 3-point statement released on July 9, 2016,"Cambodia's Foreign Ministry spokesman Chum Sounry told Xinhua after the award was released.

According to the 3-point statement, Cambodia viewed that this arbitration case was not related with all ASEAN member states.

Therefore, Cambodia would not join in expressing any common position on the arbitration court's verdict on the dispute between the Philippines and China, it said.

The statement also called on the Philippines and China to continue settling their dispute through peaceful means.

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen announced twice last month that his ruling Cambodian People's Party did not support, and more so was against, any declaration by ASEAN to support the verdict in relation to the South China Sea disputes.

He said the party considered the arbitration court's decision as "the worst political collusion in the framework of international politics," the result of which would lead to division among ASEAN members themselves and between ASEAN and China.

Shortly after the verdict was issued, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared that"the award is null and void and has no binding force. China neither accepts nor recognizes it." Endit

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