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China sets four bottom lines regarding the South China Sea disputes

By Yuan Can (People's Daily Online)    17:13, May 27, 2016

China's Ministries of Foreign Affairs and National Defense announced on Thursday four bottom lines on issues related to the South China Sea.

Bottom line 1: China will never accept the arbitration on the South China Sea no matter what kind of ruling the International Tribunal makes.

Although the International Tribunal may make an official ruling in the coming weeks, both China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of National Defense stressed on Thursday that China will neither accept nor recognize the adjudication.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry has said that the choice of the Philippines to unilaterally initiate arbitration was little more than political provocation. The Philippines does not actually aim to settle the dispute this way; instead, they are attempting to deny China's territorial sovereignty and maritime interests.

Bottom line 2: The U.S. should stop close-in reconnaissance.

In recent years, U.S. military ships and aircraft have frequently conducted reconnaissance in China's coastal areas. These operations seriously threaten China's air and maritime security.

According to China's Defense Ministry, a U.S. reconnaissance plane EP-3 flew close to the airspace of China’s Hainan Island on May 17. Two Chinese military aircraft conducted identification and verification in accordance with relevant regulations.

It is not difficult to tell who is actually challenging the region's stability. Yang Yujun, spokesperson of China's Ministry of National Defense, said, "We urge [interfering countries] to stop sowing seeds of discord so as to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, which is in the common interest of all parties."

Bottom line 3: The South China Sea disputes are not the business of G7 and its members.

Informed that Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, said on Thursday that G7 should make a clear statement on the South China Sea disputes, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that some countries are trying to take advantage of the summit. The South China Sea issue is none of the business of G7 and its members. Hua urged those participating in G7 to refocus and refrain from poking their noses into matters beyond their authority.

Bottom line 4: Any attempt to undermine China’s sovereign rights through intimidation or other means is doomed to fail.

At a press conference on May 25, Hua Chunying said that China is in the right when it comes to upholding territorial sovereignty and preserving its legitimate rights in the South China Sea. Many members of the international community support China's position on the disputes.

"It is ridiculous to accuse China of attempting to seek regional hegemony," said Tayeb Abdul Rahim, general secretary of the Palestinian Authority’s executive committee, in an interview recently.

Hua explained that many Western media reports have falsely stated that the countries who back China on the South China Sea issue are small, poor and inconsequential. This statement is blatantly arrogant, prejudiced and snobbish. Hua emphasized that it is preposterous to dismiss the legitimate stance of a country based on its size and wealth. The truth is, many different countries sympathize with and endorse China's position on the issue. 

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

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