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Wednesday, July 13, 2016, 09:20

Sea ruling: China refutes US statement

By Xinhua & Agencies

 Sea ruling: China refutes US statement
This file photo taken on May 5, 2016 shows crew members of China's South Sea Fleet taking part in a drill in the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea. (STR / AFP)
BEIJING - China is strongly displeased with a press statement issued by the Spokesperson of the US State Department on Tuesday on the award issued by the South China Sea arbitration tribunal unilaterally initiated by the former Philippine government.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said in a statement that China is firmly opposed to the US statement and has lodged solemn representations with the US side.

In Washington, China's ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai, told an international forum that Beijing remains committed to negotiations with other parties in disputes over the vital trade route.

The Chinese diplomat blamed the rise in tension in the region on the United States' "pivot" toward Asia in the past few years. Cui said the arbitration case "will probably open the door of abusing arbitration procedures.

"It will certainly undermine and weaken the motivation of states to engage in negotiations and consultations for solving their disputes," Cui said. "It will certainly intensify conflict and even confrontation."

In Beijing, Lu said the US statement turned a blind eye to the facts and endorsed an award that is illegal and invalid. He stressed the US act went against the spirit of rule of law as well as the basic norms of international law and international relations.

The US statement also went against its declaration of not taking sides on issues concerning territorial disputes, he added.

Lu said that the US side is always selective when it comes to the application of international law: citing international law when it sees fit and discarding international law when it sees otherwise.

"It keeps urging others to abide by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) while refusing to ratify the convention to this day. What makes the United States think that it is in a position to make all these irresponsible remarks against others? " said Lu.

He urged the US side to think over its words and deeds, stop fanning fires for the illegal arbitration and meddling up the South China Sea, and put an end to undermining China's sovereignty and security interests and escalating regional tensions.

Earlier in the day, the US State Department said that the award was binding on both parties and that the US expected China and the Philippines both to comply with their obligations under it, said an AP report.

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