South China Sea arbitration: China hints at hidden agenda

| Updated: Jul 15, 2016 23:31 IST

Beijing, July 15 (ANI): China has said that the South China Sea arbitration has been a political farce all along, staged under the cover of law and driven by a hidden agenda. State Councilor Yang Jiechi in an interview on Thursday said, "Certain countries outside the region have attempted to deny China's sovereign rights and interests in the South China Sea through the arbitration. They have even brought other countries into the scheme to isolate and discredit China in the international community with a view to holding back China's peaceful development." He added that such futile attempts will never work as the arbitration tribunal runs counter to the spirit of international rule of law, puts regional peace and stability in jeopardy, and undermines the interests of the international community, reports Xinhua. Yang said that over 70 countries and international and regional organizations have extended support to China's stance over the South China Sea Arbitration Tribunal, adding this itself proves the futility of certain countries' scheme to smear Beijing. "Sovereignty is a bottom line for China. Big as China is, we cannot afford to give away a single inch of territory that our ancestors have left to us. China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea have been formed over the course of over two thousand years. They are fully backed by historical and legal evidence. Under no circumstances can they ever be negated by a so-called award that is full of nonsense," said Yang. He reiterated that the award, which said China does not have any "historic right" over South China Sea, given by the Hague tribunal is illegal and invalid in every sense. The Chinese Government has released relevant statements and a White Paper stating its solemn position of firmly opposing the arbitration and not accepting or recognizing the award, he said. (ANI)