Non-acceptance of S. China Sea arbitration 'observes the law': Chinese FM

2016-02-17 23:52:43 GMT2016-02-18 07:52:43(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English
Analysis of military devices on Yongxing Island by US media.Analysis of military devices on Yongxing Island by US media.

China's non-acceptance of the South China Sea arbitration filed by the Philippines is merely observing the law, Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the press after talks with his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop Wednesday in Beijing.

Wang's comments came after Australia called for a solution to the South China Sea disputes through peaceful means, including arbitration.

China in 2006 declared it would not accept arbitration of disputes concerning territorial sovereignty and maritime rights, in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Wang said.

"Chinese government will certainly stick to this position," Wang said, adding that more than 30 countries, including Australia, have also made similar "exclusive" declarations.

He gave a list of reasons why the Philippines' arbitration attempt is invalid and unacceptable, including unilateral moves without consulting China, which goes against international norms, as well as the common sense argument that arbitration applications are usually lodged only when all other means are depleted.

China and the Philippines have several agreements that disputes should be solved through dialogue and consultation.

The Philippines has also signed the fourth article of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), which states that disputes should be solved by those countries directly related, through negotiation and consultation.

Wang said that the Philippines' arbitration attempt violated previous agreements and raised suspicion of its complicated international background or even hidden political motives.

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