The following is a letter from Mr. Zhu Haiquan, Press Counselor and Spokesman of the Chinese Embassy in the US to The Washington Post's editorial page, which is published on May 16, 2016, in response to WP's editorial titled “Dangerous Rocks in the South China Sea” on May 8, 2016.
Regarding the May 9th editorial “Dangerous Rocks in the South China Sea”:
Huangyan Dao, or Scarborough Shoal, is Chinese territory and was not seized from another country. The 1898 Treaty of Paris, the 1900 Treaty of Washington and the 1930 Convention Between the United States and Great Britain give the western limit of Philippine territory as 118 east longitude, reaffirmed by the Philippine Constitution in 1935. China's islands and reefs in the South China Sea, including Huangyan Dao, are all west of that line. By not accepting or participating in the arbitration unilaterally initiated by the Philippines, China is acting in accordance with international law. In 2006, the Chinese government exercised its right under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea and made a declaration that excludes compulsory arbitration. More than 30 countries have made similar declarations.
China supports and advocates for the "dual track" approach initiated by ASEAN countries to handle the South China Sea issue. China and ASEAN will work together to maintain peace and stability in the region while disputes are resolved through negotiations and consultations between states concerned.
The United States has no territorial claim in the South China Sea and should not become a "dangerous rock" in the region. We hope the United States will help foster a favorable environment for dialogue and negotiation. U.S. alliances should not infringe on China's sovereignty and legitimate rights. Encouraging the United States to "flex its muscles" is dangerous and counterproductive. It will be viewed by some countries as a blank check to embolden their own provocative actions, undermining diplomatic efforts and further escalate tension.
Press Counselor and Spokesman