China opposes taking sea disputes to UN
Updated: 2013-01-31 20:12
BEIJING - China has reiterated its opposition to the Philippines' request of taking South China Sea disputes to a UN tribunal, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Thursday.
Responding to a question at a daily news briefing, spokesman Hong Lei said, "China disagrees with the move that goes against the consensus (reached before)."
China signed the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) with members of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2002. According to the declaration, relevant disputes should be solved through friendly talks and negotiations by sovereign states directly concerned.
Hong made the remarks after Chairman of U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Ed Royce, met with Philippine officials on Tuesday. Royce said that China should agree to face the Philippines before a U.N. arbitration tribunal to avoid regional turbulence.
During the briefing, Hong said he had made clear China's stance on the Philippines' demand to go to arbitration last week.
On January 23, Hong urged the Philippines to avoid taking any action that could complicate the issue after Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said that the Philippines government has taken the South China Sea disputes to an Arbitral Tribunal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Hong said all countries signing the DOC should adhere to their commitments and that relevant disputes should be solved through negotiations between sovereign states directly involved.
China has always been committed to addressing disputes with the Philippines through bilateral consultations and negotiations so as to safeguard bilateral relations and regional peace and stability, Hong said, adding that it showed China's utmost goodwill and sincerity.
The spokesman said that China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and its adjacent waters in the South Sea and that it has consistently opposed the Philippine illegal occupation of some islets and reefs of the Nansha Islands.