Complying international law in South China Sea: China

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Beijing, July 13 (IANS) China on Wednesday said it did not want conflict in the South China Sea and was already adhering to international law in the region.

“China’s position on the arbitration case is clear. In the public statement made by relevant governments, it is said the dispute should be resolved by fully complying the international law. I think it is the same what the Chinese government is upholding,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told the media here.

“China does not want to see conflict and tension in the area,” Lu said.

After the arbitrary tribunal in The Hague on Tuesday rejected China’s claims over the South China Sea, India asked all parties concerned to show “utmost respect” to the verdict.

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Beijing, which has dismissed the verdict as null and void, slammed the countries asking China to accept the ruling. “A dozen countries do not represent the entire world community. It is ridiculous that the award given by the illegal tribunal is legally binding,” Lu said.

Lu said the court was funded by former Philippines government and was not like the International Court of Justice financed by the United Nations.

The court accused China of interfering with the Philippines’ fishing and petroleum exploration, building artificial islands in the waters and failing to prevent Chinese fishermen from fishing in the zone.

The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Karimata and Malacca Straits to the Straits of Taiwan, of around 3.5 million sq km.

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Meanwhile, Beijing released a white paper to reassert its claims over the waters.

Titled “China Adheres to the Position of Settling Through Negotiation the Relevant Disputes Between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea”, the document said claims made by Manila were groundless.

“The Philippines’ territorial claim over part of Nansha Qundao is groundless from the perspectives of either history or international law,” said the State Council Information Office document.

The core of the disputes between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea lies in the territorial issues caused by the Philippines’ invasion and illegal occupation of some islands and reefs of Nansha Qundao in China, it said.

The paper claimed that Nanhai Zhudao (the South China Sea Islands) was China’s inherent territory and the activities of the Chinese people in the sea date back to over 2,000 years ago.

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The document said China was the first to have discovered, named, explored and exploited Nanhai Zhudao and relevant waters.



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