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Philippines brings disputes with China to UN arbitral tribunal


08:21, January 23, 2013

Key Words: UNCLOS; United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; Philippines; South China Sea

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MANILA, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines government has brought the South China Sea disputes to an Arbitral Tribunal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said at a press conference on Tuesday, "The initiation of Arbitral Proceedings against China on the nine-dash line is an operationalization of President Aquino's policy for a peaceful and rules-based resolution of disputes in the West Philippine Sea (international name: South China Sea) in accordance with international law specifically United National Convention on the Law of the Sea ( UNCLOS).

Del Rosario said Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing was handed a note verbale which contains the Notification and Statement of Claim that challenges before the Arbitral Tribunal the validity of China's nine-dash line claim to almost the entire South China Sea.

In a written release to press, the DFA said, "We hope that the arbitral tribunal will issue an award in accordance with international law that will direct China to respect our sovereign rights and jurisdiction over our Exclusive Economic Zone, continental shelf, contiguous zone, and territorial sea over the South China Sea, and to desist from undertaking unlawful acts that violate our rights."

The Chinese Government has always stood for a negotiated settlement of international disputes through peaceful means. In this spirit, China has solved questions regarding territory and border with some neighboring countries through bilateral consultations and negotiations in an equitable, reasonable and amicable manner.

This position also applies to the South China Sea. China is committed to working with the countries concerned for proper settlement of the disputes related to the South China Sea through peaceful negotiations in accordance with the universally- recognized international law and the contemporary law of the sea, including the fundamental principles and legal regimes set forth in the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

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