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China urges US not to act as international judge in South China Sea disputes

By Yuan Can (People's Daily Online)    13:15, March 01, 2016

(File photo)

China urges the U.S. to stop playing the role of international judge and pointing fingers in the South China Sea disputes, said a spokesperson for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday at a press conference.

The spokesperson, Hong Lei, said that deployment of necessary and limited national defense measures in a country’s own territory has nothing to do with militarization; in this case it is merely China exercising its right to self-preservation and self-defense—rights granted by international law to all sovereign states.

Hong added that the deployment suits the environment of China's affected islands and reefs, as well as the threats they are facing. The new measures have nothing to do with militarization.

China reiterates its non-acceptance of and non-participation in the South China Sea arbitration initiated by the Philippines, said Hong.

Hong stated that the essence of the South China Sea dispute between China and the Philippines is territorial and maritime demarcation disputes. China and the Philippines have already reached a consensus through bilateral channels, and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) initiative is also in place to resolve disputes by engaging in negotiations.

"I would like to remind the U.S. side that they may be reluctant to join the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), but they are still obligated to respect the rights of its signatory parties," Hong said in response to the U.S.'s requirement that the ruling of the South China Sea arbitration be binding for both China and the Philippines, as they are parties under UNCLOS.

Daniel Kritenbrink, senior director for Asian affairs at the U.S. National Security Council, said on Feb. 26 that it would be good if China's non-militarization pledge in the Nansha Islands would extend across the entire South China Sea.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yuan Can,Bianji)

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