China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying’s Remarks on the Conclusion of the Hearing on Issues Relating to Jurisdiction and Admissibility by the South China Sea Arbitral Tribunal Established at the Request of the Philippines
Q: Recently, the Arbitral Tribunal for the Philippines’ South China Sea Arbitration has concluded the hearing on issues relating to jurisdiction and admissibility. What is China’s comment on that?
A: The Chinese Government has, on many occasions, expounded its position of neither accepting nor participating in the arbitral proceeding unilaterally initiated by the Philippines in disregard of China’s legitimate rights bestowed upon her by international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and in breach of the agreement that has been repeatedly reaffirmed with China as well as the Philippines’ undertakings in the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC). This position is supported by sufficient legal evidences. And for more information, please refer to the Position Paper of the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the Matter of Jurisdiction in the South China Sea Arbitration Initiated by the Republic of the Philippines released last December.
The origin and crux of the disputes between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea lie in the territorial sovereignty disputes caused by the Philippines’ illegal occupation of some islands and reefs of China’s Nansha Islands since the 1970s, and the disputes concerning maritime rights and interests that arose thereafter. Being a victim of the South China Sea issue, China, bearing in mind the whole situation of regional peace and stability, however, has been exercising utmost restraint. China has always adhered to and has been committed to resolving, in accordance with international law and on the basis of respecting historical facts, relevant disputes relating to territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests with relevant states directly concerned through negotiation and consultation. This is China’s consistent practice, and also common practice of the international community.
China opposes any move by the Philippines to initiate and push forward the arbitral proceeding. On issues of territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, China will never accept any imposed solution or unilaterally resorting to a third-party settlement. China urges the Philippines to return to the right approach of resolving relevant disputes through negotiation and consultation as soon as possible.
The Remarks were originally posted at: