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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Remarks on Statement by Spokesperson of US State Department on South China Sea Arbitration Ruling
2016/07/13

Q: The Spokesperson of the US State Department issued a press statement saying that the ruling of the Arbitral Tribunal is legally binding on both China and the Philippines, and the two countries should comply with their obligations and take this opportunity to renew efforts to peacefully address the dispute. What is your comment?

A: We are strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposed to this statement, and have lodged solemn representations with the US side.

The Foreign Ministry has issued a statement expounding on the solemn position of the Chinese government on the South China Sea arbitration case unilaterally initiated by the Philippine side and the so-called ruling. I want to stress again that the arbitration unilaterally filed by the Aquino III government, which violated international law, is a political farce under the cloak of law. What the arbitral tribunal did and ruled severely deviated from the common practice of international arbitration. The ruling is null and void with no binding force. It will in no way affect China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea. We oppose and refuse to accept any proposal or action based on the ruling. China will continue to safeguard territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, and endeavor to peacefully resolve relevant disputes in the South China Sea with parties directly concerned through negotiation and consultation on the basis of respecting historical facts and in accordance with international law.

The US statement turned a blind eye to the facts and endorsed a ruling that is illegal and invalid. Such act went against the spirit of the rule of law, international law, basic norms governing international relations, and its declaration of not taking sides on issues concerning territorial disputes, obstructing efforts by relevant parties to properly manage and control maritime situation and peacefully resolve the disputes. The US is always selective when it comes to the application of international law: citing international law when it sees fit and discarding international law when it sees otherwise. It keeps urging others to abide by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) while refusing to ratify the Convention to this day. What makes the US think that it is in a position to make all these irresponsible remarks against others? We urge the US to think over its words and deeds, stop advertising the illegal arbitration and meddling with the South China Sea issue, and cease undermining China's sovereignty and security interests and escalating regional tensions.

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