China rejects tribunal ruling on South China Sea

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Beijing, July 12 (IANS) China on Tuesday rejected an international arbitration tribunal’s ruling against its claims over the South China Sea, dismissing it as “null and void.”

Beijing said it will not accept nor recognise the verdict which it described as having “no binding force”.

“The Republic of China solemnly declares that the award is null and void and has no binding force. China neither accepts nor recognizes it,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said its reaction to the ruling.

The arbitration tribunal in The Hague on Tuesday rejected China’s claims to almost the entire South China Sea, backing the Philippines which had approached the court in 2013.

“There was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line’,” the Permanent Court of Arbitration said, referring to a demarcation line on a 1947 map of the sea.

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Beijing said the unilateral case filed by Philippines was “out of bad faith.”

It also accused the UN-backed court of muddying the waters.

“It aims not to resolve the relevant disputes between China and the Philippines, or to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, but to deny China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea,” the statement said.

Beijing said that Philippine had earlier agreed to resolve the dispute mutually but by taking it to the tribunal, had violated the international laws.

It said it will continue to work with countries directly concerned to resolve the disputes in the South China Sea through negotiations and consultations “on the basis of respecting historical facts and in accordance with international law”.

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The South China Sea is a resource-rich strategic waterway through which more than $5 trillion worth of world trade is shipped each year.

China has placed runways and radar facilities on new islets in the disputed waters, built by piling huge amounts of sand onto reefs.

China’s expansive claims over the South China Sea, contested and mirrored by the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Taiwan have triggered concerns globally, with the US sending its warships in the disputed waters.



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