Beijing rejects Manila's claims over islands

2024-06-04 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China reiterated on Monday its indisputable sovereignty over Nanhai Zhudao (South China Sea islands), dismissing Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr's speech at the recent Shangri-La Dialogue concerning the South China Sea issue.

The Philippine president said in a keynote address at the dialogue on Friday in Singapore that the Philippines' territorial claims are backed by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the South China Sea "arbitral award" made in 2016, according to a transcript published by the Philippine Presidential Communications Office.

In response, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in an online statement that China, which was the first to have discovered, named, explored and utilized the South China Sea islands and relevant waters, has indisputable sovereignty over the islands and sovereign rights and jurisdiction over relevant waters.

The Philippine president's remarks disregard history and facts and are designed to amplify Manila's wrongful position on the South China Sea, the statement said.

Philippine territory is defined by a series of international treaties that do not include China's Nansha Islands and Huangyan Island, the statement said.

China opposes the Philippines' occupying by force some islands and reefs of China's Nansha Islands, which seriously violates its sovereignty, sovereign rights and international law, the statement quoted the spokesperson as saying.

The spokesperson reiterated that the "arbitral award" on the South China Sea is "illegal, null and void", saying that China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea will not be affected by the so-called award.

It is the Philippines that bears responsibility for the escalation of the situation, the spokesperson noted.

The Philippines has breached its commitments and common understandings with China, frequently made provocations at sea and solicited external support to flex its muscles, and spread disinformation to vilify China and mislead the international community, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson also blasted the United States for its support and assistance to the Philippines in infringing on China's sovereignty and exploiting the South China Sea issue to drive a wedge between China and other countries in the region.

It is clear to see exactly whom Philippine foreign policy serves and whose bidding the Philippines is doing with all these maritime actions, the spokesperson added.

The spokesperson noted that the situation in the South China Sea is generally stable, and there has been no issue at all regarding the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea that countries enjoy in accordance with law.

China will continue to firmly defend its territorial sovereignty and maritime interests and rights, and it remains committed to properly handling maritime disputes and differences through negotiation and consultation with countries directly concerned, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson also urged Manila to return to the right track of handling maritime disputes and differences properly, through dialogue and consultation, as soon as possible.

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