China Rejects South China Sea Arbitration Award

China Refuses South China Sea Arbitration Award

(Xinhua News Agency, July 12, 2016. Complete text:) Beijing - Chinese government on Tuesday [July 12] refused to recognize the award by an arbitral tribunal on the South China Sea, insisting that bilateral negotiations should settle the dispute.

President Xi Jinping said China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime interests in the South China Sea will not be affected by the award in any circumstances.

In a press release accompanying the 479-page award, the five-member tribunal offered a summary of its decision, which almost completely accepted the claims filed by the administration of former Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III.

The arbitration was "a political farce under the pretext of law," said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi after the award was announced.

"Now the farce is over," the minister said. "It is time that things come back to normal."

Invalid award.

The Philippine government initiated the arbitration in January 2013 and in February, the Chinese government declared that it would neither participate in nor accept any outcome of the process.

In a statement Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry said the award "is null and void and has no binding force." It accused the Philippines of "bad faith," saying that the aim was not to resolve the dispute nor to maintain peace and stability, but simply to deny China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.

"The conduct of the Arbitral Tribunal and its awards***are unjust and unlawful," the statement said.

There is plenty of evidence that the Nansha Islands and adjacent waters are Chinese territory. The Chinese people were the first to name and develop the islands and it was the Chinese government that first asserted sovereignty over them.

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