China calls international arbitration over territorial dispute ‘illegal, invalid’

  • A Chinese official said that China will never recognize the ongoing international arbitration covering issues on the West Philippine Sea
  • The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the process and its product are “illegal and invalid no matter what it will be
  • The U.S. earlier warned China that it risks terrible reputation damage if it will not change its stance towards the territorial dispute

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Friday that it will never recognize the international arbitration that the Philippines from the United Nations (UN) since it believes that the process and its product are “illegal and invalid no matter what it will be.”

In an article published by Reuters that was wired to GMA News Online on May 6, 2016, it was disclosed that MFA spokesman Hong Lei said that the ongoing arbitration is useless since it was never acknowledged by China.

Those who expect that the arbitration could compel China to yield or make it an accomplished fact are doomed to be disillusioned. The arbitration is illegal and invalid whatever it will be. China will reject and will never acknowledge it,” Hong said.

He further adds, “China is firm in its determination to safeguard its sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. At the same time, we are also firm to safeguard the integrity and authority of the international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Last April, officials from the United States government have warned the People’s Republic of China that the latter could face terrible damage to its global reputation if it will continue its stance in the territorial dispute covering the West Philippine Sea.

According to US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken, China could not remain part of the United Nations’ Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) if it rejects the body’s precepts.

China has a decision to make. If it ignores the decision, it risks doing terrible damage to its reputation, further alienating countries in the region and pushing them even closer to the United States,” he said.