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Thursday, July 14, 2016, 21:34

China challenges Arbitral Tribunal's authority

By Xinhua

BEIJING - China said on Thursday that the tribunal which handled the South China Sea arbitration is not an international tribunal.

The constitution and operation of the arbitral tribunal, established by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), lacks legitimacy and representativeness, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang at a daily press briefing.

Therefore, the award rendered by the tribunal, without authority and credibility, is completely void and with no-binding force, he said.

The United Nations made it clear on Wednesday that it has nothing to do with the PCA in The Hague, which issued an award on Tuesday in the case unilaterally initiated by the Philippines in 2013.

In a post on its Sina Weibo account, the UN pointed out that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the UN's principal judicial organ.

In fact, the PCA in The Hague just happens to be the neighbor of the ICJ, both being in the Peace Palace in The Hague.

The ICJ also made clear on its website that it is a totally distinct institution and has had no involvement in the case.

The PCA, established in 1899, writes on its official website that "unlike the International Court of Justice," the Permanent Court of Arbitration "has no sitting judges" and its sessions "are held in private and are confidential."

Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, said on Tuesday "The UN doesn't have a position on the legal and procedural merits" of the South China Sea arbitration case.

Some Western media had claimed that the court is backed by the UN. Lu said he hoped that the media mistakes were made out of mere carelessness.

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