MFA: China does not accept arbitration of South China Sea dispute raised by Philippine

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying answered a reporter’s question today in respect of Philippines’ actions to foster the establishment of a dispute arbitration over the South China Sea. Below is part of the statement made today:

“On January 22, 2013, Philippines submitted to the Chinese side the notification to bring the South China Sea issue to international arbitration. February 19, the Chinese side stated that arbitration was not accepted, and the notice was returned. China’s above-mentioned position will not change.”

“Since the 1970s, Philippines’s illegal occupation of part of the islands and reefs of the Spratly Islands (including the island of Ma Huan Island, Fei Xin Island, Zhongye Island, Nanyao Island, Beizi Island, Xiyue Island, Shuanfhuang Island of the Siling Reef) is violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law. China always firmly oppose to the unlawful invasion and occupation by the Philippine side, and hereby solemnly reiterate the request that the Philippine side remove all its staff and facilities from the Chinese reefs and islands.”

“In accordance with international law, particularly the law of “land rules the sea”, determination of the ownership of the territory is the premise and basis of the maritime delimitation. Arbitration raised by the Philippine side is essentially a question of maritime delimitation between the two countries in the South China Sea waters, which will necessarily involve the sovereignty issue over relevant islands and reefs and thus the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is not applicable.”

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