BEIJING, April 27 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines' sovereignty claim over Huangyan Island is "illegal" and against basic principles of international relations, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said here Friday.
"The Philippines has once clearly stated that Huangyan Island in the South China Sea is not part of its territory, but now it swallowed its words and raised illegal territory claim over an island which belongs to China," Liu said at a regular press briefing.
"Such a claim runs against the basic principles of international relations, which require respect to sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said when asked to comment on Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario's recent accusations against China over the issue.
The recent incident at Huangyan Island was triggered by a Philippine warship violent harassment of Chinese fishermen, and concerns China's sovereignty, according to Liu.
The Philippines should respect China's sovereignty, avoid actions which would scale up and complicate the situation so as to resume peace and order in the waters around the island, the spokesman added.
Some media reports have said the Philippines has issued notice to China on its readiness to raise the sovereignty of Huangyan Island to international arbitration.
"What a world it would be if a country could, at its own will, raise another country's territory to international arbitration," Liu said, stressing the Huangyan Island is inherent territory of China.