Chinese diplomat says Philippines never 'really' talked to China about South China Sea arbitration

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

London, July 9 (ANI): Reiterating China's stance on the South China Sea arbitration, Chinese Ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming said the arbitration unilaterally initiated by the Philippines will set a "serious, wrong, and bad example" if it is allowed to go through. Liu said China believes it is illegal for a tribunal to handle this case and will not participate in the arbitration. "The Philippines arbitration case is against UNCLOS (the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), because sovereignty and territorial disputes are not under the jurisdiction of UNCLOS," Liu said. Liu noted that China, like 30 other countries, made a declaration in 2006 that it will not take part in third party arbitration when it comes to maritime delimitation, reports Xinhua. He restated that China is ready bilateral consultation and negotiations with neighboring countries, including the Philippines, for dismantling maritime disputes. Liu also alleged that Philippines never talked to China about the arbitration and the two countries have never had serious negotiations on this subject. Liu pointed that according to UNCLOS, arbitration is only a supplementary means to resolve disputes, and bilateral channels are regarded as the main means to resolve a dispute between countries and that a compulsory arbitration cannot be resorted to unless all bilateral channels are exhausted. Citing China's record in resolving territorial disputes with its neighbors, Liu reiterated that the door remains open for the Philippines to return to bilateral negotiations with China. Liu also slammed the U.S. on 'rebalancing in the Asia Pacific' and raise suspicion on Washington's motives.(ANI)