China urges US to stand down on S China Sea issue

Updated: 2016-03-01 03:06


  Comments() Print Mail Large Medium  Small

BEIJING -- China on Monday urged the United States not to position itself as the "international judge" on the South China Sea issue.

Hong Lei, a spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry, made the remarks at a daily press briefing after Daniel Kritenbrink, US White House senior director for Asian affairs, said that a ruling by The Hague on a complaint lodged by the Philippines "will be binding on both parties."

The Philippines filed the arbitration case in early 2013, which is still ongoing. China has refused to be involved in the proceedings, maintaining that the rows should be settled by the countries directly involved through consultation and negotiation.

China's non-acceptance and non-participation in arbitration on the South China Sea issue has full legal basis and the US should respect the rights enjoyed by members of UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), a group which it is not a member of, Hong said.

China declared in 2006 that arbitration and other compulsory dispute settlement procedures do not apply to issues like maritime delimitation, which was outlined in Article 298 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The South China Sea disputes between China and the Philippines lies in territorial and maritime demarcation.

The two countries already agreed long ago that issues concerning the South China Sea will be addressed through negotiation and consultation, Hong said.

He also responded to Kritenbrink's call to "expand China's non-militarization pledge to cover the entire South China Sea," saying that China's deployment of facilities to its own territory had nothing to do with militarization.

"Just as Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, non-militarization requires coordination from countries within and outside the region," Hong said.

"I would like to remind the US that it is liable to respect the rights of contracting parties of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea though the US is unwilling to accede into the Convention," Hong said.

China urged the US to not position itself as the "international judge" on the South China Sea issue and stop making gestures on China's activities, Hong said.