BEIJING: China on Sunday again rejected an attempt by the Philippines to challenge its vast territorial claims over the South China Sea through international arbitration, a week before a deadline for Beijing to respond to the case.
The Philippines infuriated China in March by filing a formal plea with a UN tribunal challenging Beijing’s maritime claims.
The tribunal gave Beijing until Dec. 15 to reply, but China reaffirmed Sunday that it would not submit to arbitration to resolve the dispute, which has heightened tensions.
China prefers to settle its disputes in discussions with the countries directly involved. However, after China took control of a disputed shoal following a naval standoff with the Philippines near its coastline, Manila filed a case early last year with a tribunal operating under the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea. It provides a regulatory framework for the use of the world’s seas and oceans.
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