The following is remarks by China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei at a regular press conference on July 7, regarding the South China Sea arbitration case initiated by the Philippines.
Q: The arbitral tribunal in charge of the South China Sea arbitration case initiated by the Philippines will deliver a final ruling in a couple of days. Will the ruling have any influence on China’s sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea?
A: The Chinese government holds a consistent and clear position of not accepting nor recognizing any ruling made by the arbitral tribunal set up at the unilateral request of the Philippines. The so-called ruling will not affect China’s territorial claims and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea.
I want to point out that China exerts indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea Islands and the adjacent waters. This is the position that the Chinese government has always upheld. Based on the historical practices of the Chinese people and the government and the position continuously held by successive Chinese governments and in accordance with the 1958 Declaration on Territorial Sea of the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the 1992 Law on Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone of the PRC, the 1998 Law on Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf of the PRC, the 1996 Decision on Ratifying UNCLOS by the NPC Standing Committee of the PRC and other domestic laws, as well as international laws including UNCLOS, the South China Sea Islands are China’s inherent territory and China is entitled to relevant maritime rights and interests based on the South China Sea Islands as well as historic rights in these waters. China’s sovereignty and maritime rights and interests over the South China Sea are based on solid historical and jurisprudential grounds and shall not be denied by anyone.
Source: China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.