China / Government

China will not be 'forced' into accepting S China Sea arbitration decision

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-07-09 06:30
BEIJING -- China on Friday dismissed the United States plea to accept any decision in the South China Sea arbitration to be announced next week.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague is set to announce its final decision next Tuesday in territorial disputes between China and the Philippines.

It is a sheer delusion to expect to force China into accepting the decision via diplomatic channels or public fanfare, the Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily press briefing.

The senior Pentagon official responsible for East Asia Abraham Denmark said on Thursday that the United States expected both parties to comply with the decision.

"The arbitration was unilaterally initiated by the Aquino administration and distorts the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), challenges the dignity of the international law and undermines the rule of law in essence," said Hong.

"China will never change its stance," he added.

China has signed UNCLOS and participates in its working groups. The United States is not a member as the U.S. Senate refuses to ratify the convention.

More than 30 African countries have voiced support for China's stance, Hong said.

Currently, at least 60 countries publicly approve of China's stance, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

"The arbitration and any award are obviously unpopular," Hong said.
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