Thu, Feb 23, 2017 | updated 05:06 PM IST

All parties should show utmost respect for South China Sea ruling: India

Updated: Jul 12, 2016 21:07 IST

New Delhi, July 12 (ANI): Stating that the dispute between the Philippines and China over maritime claims in the South China Sea should be resolved through peaceful means without threat or use of force, India on Tuesday urged all the parties to show utmost respect for the UNCLOS, which establishes the international legal order or the seas and oceans.

Issuing a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs ( MEA) said that India has noted the award of the Arbitral Tribunal constituted under Annex VII of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the law of sea (UNCLOS) in the matter concerning the Republic of the Philippines and the People's Republic of China.

"India believes that states should resolve dispute through peaceful means without threat or use of force and exercise self restraint in the conduct of activities that could complicate or escalate disputes affecting peace and stability," the statement said.

" India supports freedom of navigation and over flight and un-impended commerce, based on the principles of international law as reflected notably in the UNCLOS," it added.

Earlier today, China refused to accept the South China Sea arbitration award issued by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Hague and reaffirmed its territorial sovereignty, maritime rights and interests.

"With regard to the award rendered on 12 July 2016 by the Arbitral Tribunal in the South China Sea arbitration established at the unilateral request of the Republic of the Philippines (hereinafter referred to as the "Arbitral Tribunal"), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China solemnly declares that the award is null and void and has no binding force. China neither accepts nor recognizes it," reported Xinhua.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands earlier in the day ruled that China has no 'historic title' over the waters of the South China Sea.

In its ruling, it also said that China has interfered with traditional Philippine fishing rights at Scarborough Shoal, even as Beijing claimed historic rights to the waters under nine-dash line, which the tribunal said is contrary to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea that determines which countries can claim economic exploitation rights, based on geographic features.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration was giving its ruling on a dispute between the Philippines and China over maritime claims in the South China Sea - particularly who has the right to exploit resources in the strategic territory.

China had earlier decided to boycott the court proceedings, saying that the latter did not have the jurisdiction to decide on the matter.

The China Daily newspaper, which is published by the government, topped its front page on Tuesday with a picture of Woody Island in the South China Sea emblazoned with the words: 'Arbitration invalid'. (ANI)

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