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Beijing won’t go to court over shoal, says Chinese embassy
Publication Date : 25-04-2012
China’s decision not to join the Philippines in bringing the Scarborough Shoal dispute to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Seas (Itlos) is final, according to the Chinese Embassy in Manila.
Zhang Hua, the embassy’s spokesman, insisted on Monday night that the shoal, which Beijing calls Huangyan Island, “is China’s inherent territory on which we have sufficient legal basis”.
The Philippines, on the other hand, variously refers to the shoal, located 124 nautical miles west of Zambales, as Bajo de Masinloc, Panatag and Scarborough, and insists it belongs to the Philippines.
In a text message to the Inquirer, Zhang said the Philippines should “fully respect China’s sovereignty”.
He said the Philippine government must “commit to the consensus we reached on settling the incident through friendly diplomatic consultations, and not to complicate or aggravate this incident so that peace and stability in that area can be reached”.
Last week, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario dared Beijing to bring the dispute to Itlos, which is based in Hamburg, Germany.
China, however, brushed aside Del Rosario’s call. It maintains that historically, the shoal is part of its territory.