An aerial photo taken on Sept. 25, 2015 from a seaplane of Hainan Maritime Safety Administration shows the Yacheng 13-1 drilling rig during a patrol in south China Sea.(Xinhua/Zhao Yingquan)
LONDON, May 20 (Xinhua) -- China is committed to peace and stability in the South China Sea, and desires to solve disputes peacefully through negotiation, Chinese Ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming said Friday.
In a speech at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, Liu said China has long exercised "a high-level of self-restraint and forbearance" regarding the territorial disputes in the region.
"We have always approached the disputes in a constructive and responsible manner. If China had not maintained self-restraint, the South China Sea would not be what it is today," he told his audience.
Expounding on China's position and policy, Liu said that the islands and reefs in the South China Sea have belonged to China since ancient times.
China was the first to discover the islands in the South China Sea, the first to name the islands, the first to exercise administrative jurisdiction in the South China Sea, and also the first to develop the islands, he said.
"The aforementioned four 'Firsts' are based on substantial and concrete historical evidence. They testify to the fact that the islands of the South China Sea have long been Chinese territory," added the ambassador.
One actor in the region, the Philippines, has approached the issue through unilaterally arbitration, something China rejects.
"China's rejection of the arbitration is an act of exercising its legitimate rights empowered by international law."
China and the Philippines reached a number of bilateral agreements on resolving disputes, according to the diplomat.
In the Declaration of Conduct reached between China and the Philippines and other ASEAN countries, it is clearly stipulated that "the parties concerned undertake to resolve their territorial and jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means," he stressed.
"'Pacta sunt servanda' is a basic rule in international relations. This is the bottom line of morality that every country must strictly observe. To put it simply, the Philippines has reneged on its words and deeds," Liu noted.
He pointed out that The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) stipulates that States Parties have the right to settle a dispute by any peaceful means of their own choice.
"The aforementioned arbitration was unilaterally forced by the Philippines, who did not seek consent from China. This violates China's legitimate rights under the international law," he said.
The 15 submissions made by the Philippines concern territorial sovereignty and maritime delimitation, Liu said, noting that "the UNCLOS has no jurisdiction over issues related to sovereignty."
"As for maritime delimitation, China made a declaration in 2006 in accordance with Article 298 of the UNCLOS. This made it very clear China would exclude disputes on maritime delimitation from compulsory arbitration, so China has exercised its legitimate rights conferred by the UNCLOS. China's action complies with international law," he elaborated.
"It should be noted that over 30 other countries...have made similar declarations on the same principle of exclusion. These declarations have constituted an inseparable part of the UNCLOS," he continued.
Regarding claims that China is "militarizing" the South China Sea, the ambassador said more than half of the U.S.'s military force is deployed in Asia-Pacific, and it frequently flexes its military muscles together with its allies in the region.
"This is shown with the conduct of highly-targeted military drills. Then there are the military jets and warships on close-in reconnaissance in the nearby waters and air space of China's islands and reefs," he explained.
"It is these provocative and hostile actions that have raised the tension in the South China Sea. These acts have sent the wrong signal to the Philippines and others who have recklessly deployed military facilities on their illegally occupied islands," said the envoy.
He urged the United States to "stop its dangerous provocations that challenge China's sovereignty and security" and "take concrete steps to facilitate peace and stability in the region."
by Mahmoud Fouly, Abdel-Maguid Kamal
CAIRO, May 18 (Xinhua) -- The interference of the United States in the South China Sea territorial dispute between China and the Philippines seeks to expand U.S. influence in the Asian Pacific Region through exercising pressure on Beijing, said Egyptian experts in Asian affairs.
Backed by the United States, the Philippines lodged a claim against China at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague to resolve the dispute. The world's number one super power also urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states for unity on the anticipated court ruling. Full story
BEIJING, May 12 (Xinhua) -- China values the freedom of navigation and peace and stability in the South China Sea more than any other country in the world, said Fang Fenghui, a member of China's Central Military Commission (CMC), on Thursday.
Fang, who is also chief of the newly-established Joint Staff Department under the CMC, made the remarks during a video conversation with U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Joseph Dunford.Full story