China / Politics

China urges Philippines to avoid complicating disputes

(Xinhua) Updated: 2013-01-23 20:11

BEIJING - China urged the Philippines to avoid taking any action that could complicate the South China Sea issue, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.

The comments come after the Philippines decided to take its disputes with China to a UN tribunal.

At a daily press briefing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that relevant disputes should be solved through negotiations between sovereign states directly involved.

It is a consensus between China and members of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), stated in the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, or the DOC in short, Hong said.

He stressed that all countries signing the declaration should adhere to their commitments.

China has always been committed to addressing disputes with the Philippines through bilateral consultations and negotiations so as to safeguard bilateral relations and regional peace and stability, Hong said, noting that it showed China's utmost goodwill and sincerity.

The spokesman stressed that China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and its adjacent waters and that it has consistently opposed the Philippine illegal occupation of some islets and reefs of the Nansha Islands.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said on Tuesday that the Philippines government has taken the South China Sea disputes to an Arbitral Tribunal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

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