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FM: China has full historical and jurisprudential evidence for its sovereignty over the Huangyan Island

(People's Daily Online)

17:08, May 02, 2012

Liu Weimin, Foreign Ministry spokesman, at the press conference of April 24 (Foreign Ministry of China)

Beijing, May 2 (People's Daily Online)--The Foreign Ministry held a press conference on April 24, in which Liu Weimin, Foreign Ministry spokesman answered the reporters' questions.

Question: Philippine Foreign Secretary Del Rosario said that China wanted to be a rule-maker on the South China Sea issue and the Huangyan Island conflict showed that countries who wanted to maintain freedom of navigation and unimpeded commerce in the South China Sea would face threats. In addition, the Spokesperson of the Philippine Foreign Ministry said that the Philippines would formally inform the US on the Huangyan Island issue during next week's "2+2" conference between defence and foreign secretaries of the two countries. How does China comment?

Answer: China has full historical and jurisprudential evidence for its sovereignty over the Huangyan Island, which is completely in line with international law. In accordance with relevant international treaties that set the territorial limits of the Philippines, the Huangyan Island is absolutely outside of the Philippines' territory. The Philippine side also used to say that "the Huangyan Island is not within the scope of territorial sovereignty of the Philipines". But now, the Philippines has been unilaterally misinterpreting the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Its claim of a "200 nautical miles of exclusive economic zones" has impaired China's territorial claim, which is in itself against international law. International rules are made jointly by all countries in the world, and countries, big or small, should abide by them. We believe the public are able to tell right from wrong.

On the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, there has never been a problem. China has long exercised and maintained its territorial sovereignty over the Huangyan Island, which has never and is unlikely to affect the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. On the contrary, the Philippines dispatched warships to the Huangyan Island and forced onboard Chinese fishing boats for so-called "inspection", leading to tensions there. This can not but spark people's grave concerns over the security of the area.

On your second question, usually countries do not take positions on the sovereign dispute between others. We have noticed that other countries have not taken positions on this issue.

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