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Pak supports ‘all time ally China’ on South China Sea issue

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Islamabad: Pakistan backed China after a UN-backed tribunal struck down Beijing’s claims of “historical rights” in the South China Sea, saying Islamabad opposes any imposition of “unilateral will” on others.

Pakistan maintains that disputes over the South China Sea (SCS) should be peacefully resolved through consultations and negotiations by states directly concerned in accordance with bilateral agreements and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said.

“Pakistan opposes any imposition of unilateral will on others and respects China’s statement of optional exception in light of Article 298 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea,” Zakaria said.

Pakistan believes that maintenance of peace and security is the collective responsibility of all parties to the SCS, the Foreign Office said.

It said that the countries outside the region should fully respect efforts made by China and the ASEAN countries to safeguard peace and stability in the SCS, and play a constructive role to this end.

The Hague-based tribunal dismissed the core of China’s claims over the 90 per cent SCS and ruled that “there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line’”, which is based on a Chinese map dating back to the 1940s.

PTI

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