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Wednesday, July 20, 2016, 11:50

White paper, statements make Sea stance clear: Envoy

By Xinhua

LONDON - The Chinese government's two recent statements and a white paper regarding the South China Sea provide "authoritative, comprehensive and clear-cut elaborations on China's position," Chinese Ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming said Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference in London, Liu said the Chinese government immediately reaffirmed its solemn position that China does not accept nor recognize the award, after the so-called tribunal in the South China Sea arbitration unilaterally initiated by the Philippines announced its award last week.

"To further elaborate on China's position, the Chinese government issued two statements and a white paper, and interpretations of these documents by senior officials have also been released," he told journalists.

After the tribunal released its so-called award, the Chinese government issued the Statement on China's Territorial Sovereignty and Maritime Rights and Interests in the South China Sea, and the Chinese Foreign Ministry also issued a statement on the award.

China's State Council Information Office published a white paper entitled "China Adheres to the Position of Settling Through Negotiation the Relevant Disputes Between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea".

"The statements and the white paper provide authoritative, comprehensive and clear-cut elaborations on China's position," Liu said.

"In-depth readings of these documents have been provided by State Councilor Yang Jiechi in an interview, by Foreign Minister Wang Yi in his remarks and by Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin in a press briefing on the white paper," he noted.

The statement by the Chinese government, the ambassador said, reaffirms China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea.

"The Statement underscores the facts that China is the first to have discovered, named, and explored and exploited Nanhai Zhudao, or South China Sea islands, and relevant waters. China is the first to have exercised sovereignty and jurisdiction over them continuously, peacefully and effectively," he explained.

"The Statement explicitly points out that China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea include its sovereignty over Nanhai Zhudao," he stressed.

He noted that China stands ready to continue to resolve the relevant disputes peacefully through negotiation and consultation with the states directly concerned.

"China is ready to work with them to jointly maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea and to ensure the safety of and the unimpeded access to the international shipping lanes in the South China Sea," said the diplomat.

The Statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry points out that the subject-matter raised by the Philippines for arbitration is beyond the jurisdiction of UNCLOS (the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), Liu said.

"The arbitration infringes on China's right as a UNCLOS state party, namely the right to choose the procedures and means for dispute settlement on its own will," he further argued.

"The tribunal has in essence expanded its power, exceeded its authority and abused arbitration proceedings. Its ruling is therefore null and void and has no binding force," he added.

According to Liu, the white paper by the State Council Information Office "offers an overall elaboration on how China's sovereignty over Nanhai Zhudao was established in the course of history, and what China has been doing to uphold its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests."

"The white paper sheds light on the origin and development of the disputes between China and the Philippines. It aims to get to the root of the issue and set the record straight," the ambassador continued.

At the same time, Liu noted, the white paper reiterates China's "unchanged commitment to negotiation and consultation as the right way to settle disputes."

"China believes only a negotiated result can gain understanding and support from people of countries concerned," he concluded, adding, "only a negotiated result can be effectively implemented and only a negotiated result can be enduring."

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