Manila's scheme abuses law

Updated: 2014-04-01 07:42

By China Forum (China Daily)

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The Philippines has resorted to these maneuvers for the following purposes: First, to depict itself as an underdog to win sympathy of the international community; second, to portray itself as a guardian of international law and justice and tarnish China's image; and third, to legalize its occupation of the related islands and reefs through arbitration. But the Philippines should not forget that China has exercised sovereignty and jurisdiction over the Nansha Islands since ancient times, the Nansha Islands are part of Chinese territory which were recovered by the Chinese people with blood in their war against Japanese aggression, and the sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and other islands in the South China Sea was fully restored to China after WWII in both legal and factual terms. The Chinese government is firm in its resolve to uphold China's sovereignty. China's rejection of the Philippines' filing for arbitration is solidly based on international law. The Philippines' scheme could only prove futile.

Consultation and negotiation are the right way to settle the South China Sea disputes between China and the Philippines.

The Chinese government always stands for settling land and maritime disputes through consultation and negotiation. Over the past decades, China has settled most boundary and territorial issues with its land neighbors through friendly negotiations on an equal footing, and its maritime delimitation issue with Vietnam in Beibu Bay has also been settled in a fair manner through negotiations. International practices prove that consultation and negotiation are the best way to resolve such issues.

With the joint efforts by China and most ASEAN member states, the South China Sea enjoys overall stability at present. Acting in the interest of China-Philippines relations and peace and stability of Southeast Asia, China has unswervingly been dedicating itself to settling its disputes with the Philippines through consultation and negotiation. The two countries have reached an important consensus of "a gradual and progressive process of cooperation shall be adopted with a view to eventually negotiating a settlement of the bilateral disputes". And sound cooperation was once registered in this respect between China and the Philippines.

China is ready to continue its efforts to uphold peace and stability in the South China Sea and improve and grow its relations with the Philippines. China has the determination, confidence and patience to engage the Philippines in direct negotiation. Despite the fact that the Philippines has unilaterally filed for arbitration in an attempt to shut the door on bilateral negotiation, China still keeps the door wide open for consultation and negotiation. China urges the Philippines to rectify its erroneous acts, honor its commitment and return early to the right track of settling its disputes with China through bilateral negotiation.

As a Chinese saying goes, one who has justice on his/her side does not need to resort to shouting. With regard to the arbitration process forcibly pushed by the Philippines, justice is on China's side and China will not be intimidated. The arbitration will in no way shake China's resolve to uphold its sovereignty or change China's consistent position on and approach to the South China Sea issue.

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