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China rejects Philippines' arbitral request

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-02-19 20:33

BEIJING - The Chinese government has rejected a Philippine move to take their dispute regarding sovereignty issues in the South China Sea to the United Nations for arbitration, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday.

"Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Ma Keqing had an appointment with officials from the Philippines' Foreign Ministry on Tuesday and returned a note and related notice after expressing China's rejection," spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily press briefing.

"The note and related notice not only violate the consensus enshrined in the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), but are also factually flawed and contain false accusations," Hong said.

China is committed to addressing the dispute through bilateral talks, Hong said, noting that the consensus in the DOC states that disputes should be solved through talks between the nations directly involved.

Hong reiterated that China has sufficient historical and jurisprudential evidence to support its claim to the Nansha islands, which are located in the South China Sea, and their adjacent waters.

"China hopes the Philippines will honor its commitment by not taking any action that could complicate the issue, positively respond to China's proposal to establish a bilateral dialogue mechanism on maritime issues and work to solve the issue through bilateral negotiations," Hong said.

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