‘South China Sea ruling has no impact on territorial sovereignty’

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Ulan Bator, July 16 (IANS) Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Saturday said the South China Sea arbitration ruling will have no impact on Beijing’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.

Speaking at an informal meeting during the 11th Asian-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit in the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator, Li said the South China Sea issue should not be subjected to multilateral discussions from the very beginning, and is not included in the summit’s agenda, Xinhua news agency reported.

“But since certain countries commented on the issue, it is thus necessary for China to come out to clarify its stance and spell out the truth,” he said.

An international arbitration tribunal on Tuesday ruled against China’s claims to rights in the South China Sea, backing a case brought in by the Philippines.

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Li said China never participated in the arbitration unilaterally initiated by the Philippines, adding that his country neither accepts nor acknowledges the so-called arbitration award.

“By doing so, we are both exercising our rights in accordance with international law, and safeguarding the dignity of international law,” he said.

“Under no circumstance will the arbitration award exert any impact on China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea,” Li added.



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