China says door for dialogue with Philippines always open

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016-5-6 8:57:23

China said on Thursday the door for dialogue with the Philippines on the South China Sea is always open, refuting the country's argument that bilateral dialogue has come to an end.

China and the Philippines have agreed a series of bilateral and multilateral documents to solve the South China Sea disputes through negotiation, but the Philippines abandoned its promises, said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei at a daily press briefing.

"China's door for dialogue with the Philippines is always open," Hong said.

He said the two countries have had close contact and several rounds of consultation on trust, managing disputes and maritime cooperation yet the Philippines has never had any conversation with China on any of its appeals of the arbitration case.

"The argument that 'bilateral dialogue has come to an end' is indeed another lie made up by the Philippines," said Hong.

He reaffirmed that China is acting entirely in accordance with the law by not accepting nor participating in the arbitration, which was unilaterally initiated by Manila in early 2013 and will be heard by a five-judge tribunal in The Hague.

China exercised its right under Article 298 of the UN Convention on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS) in 2006 and made a declaration that excludes compulsory arbitration, said Hong.

Stressing that the core of China-Philippines disputes on the South China Sea is the Philippines' illegal occupation of islands and reefs of China's Nansha Islands and the two countries' maritime delimitation, Hong said the UNCLOS does not apply to the issue.

The Philippines' arbitration, unlawful and illegitimate from the very beginning, is in fact political provocation under the cloak of law, said Hong.

China firmly opposes a certain country's taking hostage the international rule of law for its own selfish gains, he said.

Posted in: Diplomacy

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