BNTuner AMFM RADIO News & Technology China consul: The Hague ruling on WPS ‘null and void’

China consul: The Hague ruling on WPS ‘null and void’

ILOILO CITY: The Consul General of the People’s Republic of China, during her visit to Iloilo on Thursday, asserted that the landmark arbitral ruling on the West Philippine Sea (WPS) was “illegal, null, and void.”

“China has never and will never accept it. China’s rights and interests in the territorial dispute in the South China Sea are deeply founded in the historical facts and legal facts and also the international law,” Consul General Zhang Zhen said in a news conference, adding the Chinese government stands by its claim to the highly contested waters.

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Zhang cited 12 articles from Chinese media outlets supporting China’s sovereignty and rights in the area.

Zhang was in Iloilo City to attend the Chinese New Year celebration.

When asked to comment on the legal steps taken by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on the WPS issue, Zhang said, “disputes with the sea cannot define the overall bilateral relationship,” adding China and the Philippines have already reached a consensus to “cherish the bilateral relationship” and to have an improved maritime communication mechanism.

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“Calm down the dispute and handle the disputes properly,” Zhang added.

Zhang expressed support for joint efforts between China and Asean member countries to maintain peace and stability in the region.

“China always upholds the policy to settle disputes through peaceful consultations, and that is very crucial and important. We will not accept any kind of provocations,” she said.

Zhang bemoaned alleged misinformation on the issue, saying it undermines effective communication and diplomatic relations between the two countries.

“We should always remain vigilant. Some people don’t really know the facts, so it is the media that has this responsibility to always seek the truth. Don’t send any wrong message to the public. Don’t poison the good and friendly atmosphere that will ruin our good relationship,” she added.

China claims historic rights over virtually the entire WPS, an assertion being disputed by the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and Taiwan.

In 2016, an arbitral tribunal in The Hague invalidated China’s expansive claim in the strategic waterway and affirmed the Philippines’ sovereign rights over its exclusive economic zone.

China has since then refused to recognize the landmark decision, claiming it is “illegal” and a “mere piece of paper.”

NEWS Source: ManilaTimes

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