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China rejects Philippines' argument on territorial row
Publication Date : 01-04-2014
China on Monday said it would not accept and participate in the written argument submitted by the Philippines to the United Nations (UN) International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (Itlos).
“China does not accept the international arbitration initiated by the Philippine side. Disputes such as these have already been excluded from arbitration procedures through a declaration made by China in 2006 pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Laws Of the Sea (Unclos),” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told Chinese reporters in a press briefing.
Hong said China urges the Philippines to adhere to using bilateral talks to resolve the maritime dispute.
Hong added that the direct cause of the dispute was the Philippines’ illegal occupation of some Chinese islets adding that China held a clear and consistent stance on its claims over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
According to Hong, China has “indisputable sovereignty over the Ayungin Shoal and its adjacent waters.”
Philippine Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose , meanwhile, said the Philippine government maintains its position to resolve the maritime dispute in a peaceful and diplomatic manner.
“We have been advocating peaceful settlement of the dispute without resorting to force or threat of force,” Jose said in an interview over Inquirer Radio 990AM.
Jose said the written argument or memorial submitted by the Philippines to the arbitration committee of the United Nation is the “most peacful, durable and lasting solution” to the maritime dispute.
He said the UN arbitral tribunal would continue the hearing of the written memorial submitted by the Philippines even without China’s participation and approval.
On Sunday, the Philippines submitted a 4,000-page written pleading of the Philippines before an international tribunal against China’s expansive claims over the West Philippine Sea.
Chinese coast guard vessels on Saturday blocked a civilian Philippine ship off the Ayungin Shoal in the Spratly Islands .
The civilian ship brought supplies to Philippine soldiers stationed at the BRP Sierra Madre that has been grounded at the Ayungin Shoal, an area within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, but which China claims as its own.