China rejects UN tribunal verdict on South China Sea


Brushing aside the UN tribunal arbitrating on the disputed South China Sea (SCS), China has asserted that it will not accept its verdict and underlined that issues relating to its sovereignty should be decided only by the Chinese people.  

Echoing the government’s views, an official daily warned that  US ships and aircraft in the area challenging Beijing’s sovereignty will lead to its further militarisation. “China’s territorial sovereignty should be decided by all the Chinese people, and no other people or organisation has the right to handle it,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei stated in a media address. The spokesperson replied to a question on the recent release of a court hearing record by an international tribunal in the Hague lodged by the Philippines.

Mr Hong said China’s position on the SCS stands on a solid international legal base and will remain unchanged. He added that at the hearing the Philippines which filed the petition ignored facts, international law and justice.  He also alleged that the Philippines attempted to deny China’s sovereignty over the South SCS islands.

The Arbitral Tribunal under the UN Convention on Law of Seas (UNCLOS) established at the request of the Philippines has no jurisdiction over the case, Mr Hong underlined. The tribunal admitted the Philippines’ petition overruling China’s objections. China has also refused to accept any third party settlements in resolving the dispute.