China: UN case just a ‘show’
WEEKS before the arbitration court issues a decision on China’s massive military buildup in the disputed waters of South China Sea, Beijing warned “it will only take a strong position in response” once the Philippines and its military allies use force in enforcing the ruling.
Director General Xu Hong, of the Department of Treaty and Law of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the South China Sea arbitration had already become a show because the Philippines ignored options to engage China in negotiations of disputes.
“The South China Sea arbitration has already become a show, so who’s going to be serious about the results of a ‘show’?” Xu told a press briefing in Beijing, a transcript of which was posted on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
China said the ruling of the arbitration court would not change Beijing’s position in the South China Sea issue, said Xu, stressing “should any force intends to take this so-called arbitral award as an excuse to do harm to China’s sovereignty and rights and interests, China will only take a strong position in response.”
“We hope that the Philippines could realize its errors and return to the right track of resolving disputes through negotiations and consultations,” said Xu.
Presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte earlier met with Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jinhua in Davao City on possible bilateral talks to settle the maritime dispute.
The Chinese envoy earlier said his government looked forward to “a new chapter” of bilateral relations with the Philippines under the new administration.
President Aquino has refused to engage in bilateral negotiations with China and resorted to elevate the arbitration case to The Hague. The Philippines also strengthened its military alliance with the United States in pushing maritime security in the disputed waters in South China Sea.
The Chinese official said the Philippines’ unilateral move to file an arbitration case had violated the Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea that engages parties to conduct bilateral and multilateral negotiations to settle disputes.
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