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China does not recognize arbitration case on South China Sea — foreign ministry

June 08, 8:34 UTC+3 BEIJING
China will continue to firmly insist on resolving relevant disputes with the Philippines on the South China Sea by negotiations
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A Chinese navy frigate near the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea (archive)

A Chinese navy frigate near the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea (archive)

© AP Photo/Peng Peng

BEIJING, June 8. /TASS/. China does not recognize the arbitration case in The Hague brought by the Philippines on the South China Sea and insists on resolving territorial disputes exclusively by negotiations, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

"China does not accept any measures of resolving issues connected with establishing borders on land or on sea, which are forced upon it, as well as any appeals to the third party to settle these problems," the foreign ministry said. "China will continue to firmly insist on resolving relevant disputes with the Philippines on the South China Sea by negotiations. China is the main force ensuring peace and stability in the South China Sea," the ministry added.

"The decision of the Philippines to unilaterally initiate an arbitration case goes against the bilateral agreement on resolving disputes by negotiations and violated the provisions of the UN Conventions on the Law of the Sea," the ministry noted.

In January 2013 the Philippines unilaterally initiated an international arbitration case with China on the territorial dispute in the South China Sea. On 29 October 2015, the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague ruled that it had the power to hear the case.

Beijing has for decades been involved in a dispute with many countries in the region over the territorial jurisdiction of a number of islands in the South China Sea, where significant reserves of hydrocarbons have been found. This refers, above all, to the Xisha archipelago (the Paracel Islands), the Nansha Islands (the Spratly Islands) and Huangyan Island. Other countries involved in the dispute are Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines. As of the end of 2013, China has been engaged in large-scale hydro-engineering and construction work on the expansion and development of the territories under its control.

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