China opposes taking sea disputes to UN

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 31, 2013 14:30 hrs

Beijing, Jan 31 (IANS) China Thursday reiterated its opposition to the Philippines' request to take disputes over the South China Sea to a UN tribunal.

"China disagrees with moves that go against the consensus (reached before)," Xinhua quoted foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei as saying.

China signed the "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2002.

According to the declaration, relevant disputes should be solved through friendly talks and negotiations by sovereign states directly concerned.

Hong's remarks came after Ed Royce, chairman of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs, met Philippine officials.

Royce said China should agree to face the Philippines before a UN arbitration tribunal to avoid regional turbulence, Xinhua reported.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario earlier said the government had taken its South China Sea disputes to an Arbitral Tribunal under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The Chinese spokesman said China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha islands and its adjacent waters in the South China Sea and that it has consistently opposed the Philippines' "illegal occupation" of some islets and reefs.

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