Beijing – China on Monday urged the U.S. not to position itself as the international judge on the South China Sea issue.
Hong Lei, a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, made the remark at a daily news briefing in Beijing.
He spoke after Daniel Kritenbrink, U.S. White House Senior Director for Asian Affairs, said that a ruling by The Hague on a complaint lodged by the Philippines will be binding on both parties.
The Philippines filed the arbitration case in early 2013, which is still ongoing.
China has refused to be involved in the proceedings, maintaining that the rows should be settled by the countries directly involved through consultation and negotiation.
“China’s non-acceptance and non-participation in arbitration on the South China Sea issue has full legal basis.
“U.S. should respect the rights enjoyed by members of UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), a group which it is not a member of’’, Hong said.
“China declared in 2006 that arbitration and other compulsory dispute settlement procedures do not apply to issues like maritime delimitation, which was outlined in Article 298 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
“The South China Sea disputes between China and the Philippines lie in territorial and maritime demarcation.
“The two countries already agreed long ago that issues concerning the South China Sea will be addressed through negotiation and consultation’’, Hong said.
He also responded to Kritenbrink’s call to expand China’s non-militarisation pledge to cover the entire South China Sea, saying that China’s deployment of facilities to its own territory had nothing to do with militarisation.
“Just as Foreign Minister, Wang Yi said, non-militarisation requires coordination from countries within and outside the region”, Hong said.
“I would like to remind the U.S. that it is liable to respect the rights of contracting parties of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea though the U.S. is unwilling to accede into the Convention”, Hong said.
China urged the U.S. to not position itself as the “international judge” on the South China Sea issue and stop making gestures on China’s activities. (Xinhua/NAN)