China reaffirms Spratlys claim, nixes arbitration


CHINA reaffirmed its position Sunday that it will not submit to international arbitration to resolve overlapping territorial claims with the Philippines in the South China Sea, and accused Manila of becoming “increasingly provocative.”

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a six-point position paper on Sunday, a week before the Dec. 15 deadline set by the United Nations tribunal in The Hague for Beijing to respond to case lodged by the Philippines.

It also came close to a month after President Benigno Aquino III and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in Beijing where the two leaders affirmed their “shared goal of arriving at a settlement and preventing future tensions” over territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

China said it will “neither accept nor participate in the arbitration” as the UN tribunal lacks jurisdiction over the territorial dispute.

“Such action (case filed by the Philippines) cannot be regarded as in conformity with the rule of law, as it runs counter to the basic rules and principles of international law. It will not in any way facilitate a proper settlement of the dispute between the two countries. Instead it will undermine mutual trust and further complicate the bilateral relations,” the position paper said.


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