South China Sea arbitration and award “illegal, invalid”
MANILA – The Chinese Embassy in Manila said they have taken note of Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr.’s statement on the 4th Anniversary of the issuance of what they termed as “so-called award” in the South China Sea Arbitration yesterday,
“China’s position is consistent, clear and firm. The South China Sea arbitration and its so-called award are illegal and invalid,” according to the statement released late Monday afternoon.
It added China does not accept or participate in the arbitration, nor does it accept or recognize the so-called award as China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea “will under no circumstances be affected by this award.”
It said the Chinese government “firmly opposes and will never accept any claim or action based on aforesaid award.”
The Chinese Embassy said China and the Philippines have already agreed on how to properly handle the arbitration case “which has laid down solid ground for the turning-around of bilateral relations.” It added in recent years, with the strategic guidance of the leaders of both countries, the relations have maintained health and steady momentum with exchanges and cooperation in different fields.
Such cooperation serves the common interests of the Chinese and Filipinos as it contributes to peace and stability in the South China Sea which is called West Philippine Sea by the Philippine government. The Embassy credited the establishment of the Bilateral Consultation Mechanism on the South China Sea (BCM), which has brought the relations to the right track of resolving relevant issues through bilateral negotiation and consultation.
The Embassy statement mentioned optimism the Philippines would “make concerted efforts with China in jointly securing the hard-won sound momentum of bilateral relations and upholding peace and stability in the South China Sea.” (Melo M. Acuña)