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China refuses South China Sea arbitration award

China said Tuesday it neither accepts nor recognizes the award of an arbitral tribunal in the South China Sea arbitration established at the request of the Philippines.

"The award is null and void and has no binding force," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea shall under no circumstances be affected by those awards. China opposes and will never accept any claim or action based on those awards, according to the statement.

The tribunal handling the South China Sea arbitration case unilaterally initiated by the former Philippine government issued its final award on Tuesday, amid a global chorus that the panel has no jurisdiction.

In a press release accompanying the 479-page award, the five-member tribunal offered a summary of its decisions, which sweepingly side with the claims filed by the administration of former Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III.

The arbitration is a political farce under the pretext of law, said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

"China has territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea," said a separate statement titled "Statement of the Government of the People's Republic of China on China's Territorial Sovereignty and Maritime Rights and Interests in the South China Sea".

China is always firmly opposed to the invasion and illegal occupation by certain states of some islands and reefs of China's Nansha Qundao (the Nansha Islands), and activities infringing upon China's rights and interests in relevant maritime areas under China's jurisdiction, according to the latter statement.

China has sovereignty over Nanhai Zhudao (the South China Sea Islands), consisting of Dongsha Qundao (the Dongsha Islands), Xisha Qundao (the Xisha Islands), Zhongsha Qundao (the Zhongsha Islands) and Nansha Qundao, said the Chinese government statement.

China has internal waters, territorial sea and contiguous zone, based on Nanhai Zhudao. Also, China has exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, based on Nanhai Zhudao, according to the statement.

China has historic rights in the South China Sea, it said.

China respects and upholds the freedom of navigation and overflight enjoyed by all states under international law in the South China Sea, and stays ready to work with other coastal states and the international community to ensure the safety of and the unimpeded access to the international shipping lanes in the South China Sea, the statement said.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 12Jul16]

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East China Sea Conflict
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