China rejects hegemony of navigation in name of freedom of navigation: senior Chinese diplomat

(Xinhua) 10:33, July 15, 2023

JAKARTA, July 14 (Xinhua) -- China rejects hegemony of navigation in the name of freedom of navigation, said Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Wang Yi on Friday.

Wang made the remarks while attending the series of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers' meetings, expounding China's principled position on the South China Sea issue.

The South China Sea is currently one of the safest and most open waters in the world for navigation, Wang said, noting that China and littoral countries of the South China Sea abide by international laws, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

China has always advocated the peaceful settlement of disputes through friendly consultations among countries directly concerned, which is a principle that has also been written into the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, Wang said.

Wang noted the completion of the second reading of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) text, pledging to work together with relevant countries to promote the COC to become an effective, substantive and lawful regional rule to better safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea, and effectively guarantee the lawful rights and interests of countries outside the region.

Wang hoped that countries outside the region would respect the efforts made by China and ASEAN, and play a positive role in maintaining regional stability instead of the opposite.

China and ASEAN do not need condescending instructors, but have full confidence, wisdom and capability to properly resolve the South China Sea issue through joint efforts, he added.

The South China Sea arbitration is clearly a political manipulation, deviating from the original intention of the UNCLOS, Wang said.

From the very beginning, China did not participate in the arbitration and will never accepted it, said Wang, warning against practice of certain countries to reverse history and hype up "old tricks". 

(Web editor: Xian Jiangnan, Wu Chaolan)


Related Stories