China rejects Philippine proposal on Spratlys | Global News

China rejects Philippine proposal on Spratlys

/ 06:17 PM July 12, 2011

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Hong Lei gestures for questions at a press briefing in Beijing in November. AFP FILE PHOTO

BEIJING—China on Tuesday rejected calls by the Philippines for the two nations to bring their conflicting claims in the West Philippine Sea before a United Nations-backed tribunal.

“China always maintains that the South China Sea dispute should be resolved… through direct negotiations between directly concerned countries,” foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters.


He added the row should also be dealt with according to “recognized international laws”.

China and the Philippines have overlapping claims to parts of the West Philippine Sea, which is believed to hold vast mineral resources, as do Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan.


Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, who visited China last week, said he called for the dispute to go before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in his meetings with senior officials.

The tribunal is an independent judicial body established by UNCLOS, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to handle disputes.

Speaking to reporters after his visit, del Rosario said he pointed out that the Philippines’ claims over parts of the West Philippine Sea, including the Spratly islands, were “based on international law, specifically UNCLOS”.

Chinese officials however said their claims were based on “historic rights”, the secretary said.

The Philippines and Vietnam have in recent months accused China of taking increasingly aggressive actions in staking its claims in the disputed waters, including an incident where the Chinese allegedly fired on Filipino fishermen.

In April, the Philippines lodged a formal protest at the United Nations over China’s claims.

Subscribe to our global nation newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: China, Conflict, Philippines, South China Sea, Spratly Island, Spratlys, territorial dispute, Unclos, West Philippine Sea
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our global news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2021 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.