Beijing slams tribunal decision on South China Sea row

2015-10-30 10:09


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Beijing - China will disregard any findings by an international tribunal on a case brought by the Philippines over disputed islands in the South China Sea, Beijing said on Friday after the court decided to consider the action.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration – which is more than a century old and based in The Hague – ruled on Thursday that it did have jurisdiction on the issue.

Manila insists the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which the Philippines and China have both ratified, should be used to resolve the bitter territorial row over isolated reefs and islets, which has triggered growing international alarm.

But China has refused to participate in the proceedings, arguing that the case is about sovereignty and the court cannot rule on it.

"We will not participate and we will not accept the arbitration," Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin told reporters in Beijing.

"The ruling or the result of arbitration will not affect China's position," he added.

"It won't affect China's sovereignty rights and jurisdiction in the South China Sea, our rights will not be undermined."

As veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, the stance will put Beijing in a difficult diplomatic position if the court rules that it has violated one of the UN's own statutes.

Beijing insists it has sovereign rights to nearly all of the South China Sea, a strategic waterway through which about a third of all the world's traded oil passes.

The disputed waters – also claimed in part or whole by Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Brunei – have also become the stage for a tussle for regional dominance between Beijing and Washington, the world's two largest economic and military powers.

This week, the American USS Lassen guided missile destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of at least one of the land formations claimed by China, sparking fury in Beijing.

Following a stand-off between Chinese ships and the weak Philippine navy in 2012, China took control of a rich fishing ground called Scarborough Shoal that is within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone.

Over the past year China has asserted its stance by rapidly converting tiny reefs into islands for facilities with military uses, including as many as three runways.

The tribunal – set up in 1899 to resolve international disputes between countries – stressed on Thursday its ruling did not yet go to the heart of the merits of Manila's case, which was first filed in 2013.

A new hearing will now be held behind closed doors in The Hague, and a final decision is not expected until next year.

Read more on:    un  |  phillipines  |  china

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.