China criticizes Philippines over South China Sea arbitration
BEIJING, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- A Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Wednesday criticized the Philippines as tribunal in the Hague began hearing a case initiated by the Philippines over the South China Sea.
Spokesman Hong Lei told a routine press briefing that the unilateral move by the Philippines was not an attempt to solve disputes, but "political provocation in legal clothing."
The Arbitral Tribunal established at the request of the Philippines has no jurisdiction over the case, Hong said, reiterating that China will neither accept nor participate in the arbitration.
The moves of the Philippines and the Arbitral Tribunal totally disobeyed the objective of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and seriously violated China's legitimate rights as a sovereign state, according to Hong.
The Philippine attempt to deny China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea will prove futile, said the spokesman.
In 2006, in accordance with Article 298 of the UNCLOS, China has made a declaration, which "excludes disputes concerning maritime delimitation, historic bay or titles, military activity and law enforcement activities in regard to the exercise of sovereign rights or jurisdiction, from compulsory arbitration and other compulsory dispute settlement procedures."
China and the Philippines have reached several agreements in past decades that disputes should be resolved through negotiation and consultation, according to the Foreign Ministry.