China insists Philippines's arbitration case is illegal
Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) - July 12, 2016 - 10:06am

MANILA, Philippines — Beijing reiterated that it will not accept the forthcoming ruling of a United Nations (UN) arbitral tribunal, citing that the arbitration case initiated by Manila was "illegal from the very beginning."

The Philippines filed the arbitration case against China's nine-dash line claim pursuant to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

LIVE updates: Verdict on the South China Sea

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said that China is upholding the integrity, authority and sanctity of international law, including the UNCLOS.

"You may have noted that more and more countries have joined the Chinese government in voicing their disagreement, supporting all sovereign states in independently choosing dispute settlement regime in accordance with international law and encouraging countries concerned to resolve disputes through direct dialogue," Lu said in a press briefing on Monday.

Lu claimed that majority of the international community refuses to accept the arbitration ruling which he called "such an illegal thing."

The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson pointed out that the subject matter of the arbitration is beyond the scope of the UNCLOS and noted that the Philippines and China have both agreed to resolve the sea row through bilateral negotiation.

"The Aquino government of the Philippines has gone back on its words. As I said, more and more countries have realized that the arbitration is illegal as it is based on a breach of bilateral agreement, not to mention international law including UNCLOS," Lu said.

The UN's Permanent Court of Arbitration based in The Hague, Netherlands is expected to issue its final decision on the arbitration case between the Philippines and China at 5 p.m.

New Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay earlier said that the government should study the implications of the arbitral tribunal's ruling first before making statements.

READ: China urged to respect UN arbitral court ruling | China intensifies opposition ahead of South China Sea ruling | Chinese envoy calls on Duterte ahead of Hague ruling

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