Islands, not rocks: China rejects arbitration ruling

MANILA – China’s Foreign Ministry rejected Tuesday the ruling of an international arbitration court that nixed Beijing’s claims to economic rights across large swathes of the South China Sea.

In response, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China said the award of the Permanent Court of Arbitration “is null and void and has no binding force. China neither accepts nor recognizes it.”

Beijing said that by unilaterally initiating arbitration proceedings on the South China Sea dispute, the Philippine government had breached the agreement between the two states, violates the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and went against the general practice of international arbitration.

“The unilateral initiation of arbitration by the Philippines is out of bad faith. It aims not to resolve the relevant disputes between China and the Philippines, or to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, but to deny China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea,” it said.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry also noted that the subject-matter of the arbitration initiated by the Philippines “is in essence an issue of territorial sovereignty over some islands and reefs of Nansha Qundao (the Nansha Islands), and inevitably concerns and cannot be separated from maritime delimitation between China and the Philippines.”

Full article: Islands, not rocks: China rejects arbitration ruling (ABS-CBN News)

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