China reiterates opposition to Philippines’ arbitration bid

China on Wednesday reiterated its opposition to the Philippines’ taking the South China Sea dispute to an Arbitral Tribunal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

At a daily press briefing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said, “We do not agree with the Philippine Foreign Ministry’s move of filing international arbitration, and we have clearly expressed our stance of opposition.”

His remarks came in response to the Philippine Foreign Ministry’s statement on Tuesday saying “China’s action will not interfere with the process of Arbitration initiated by the Philippines on 22 January 2013.”

Hong said, “Both China and the Philippines are signatories to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), and have a commitment to seriously fulfill the declaration.”

He continued, “China advocates that the dialogue framework currently endorsed by most regional nations should be maintained.”

Hong added that China will continue its efforts to protect peace and stability in the South China Sea, and unswervingly safeguard sovereignty and interests.

China rejected and returned the Philippines’ Notification and Statement of Claim concerning the case on Tuesday.

Xinhua