China has 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,” reports Xinhua.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands today 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”.