Beijing: Reacting guardedly to India's statement on the strategic South China Sea verdict by a UN-backed tribunal, China on Wednesday said it too wants to resolve the dispute by "fully complying" with the international law.
"In those public statements made by relevant governments, if it is said that the dispute should be resolved by fully complying with the international law, I think it is the same with what Chinese government is upholding," Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters here.
He was reacting to questions on India's External Affairs Ministry statement asking all parties involved in the South China Sea row to resolve the maritime dispute through peaceful means without threat or use of force and "show utmost respect" to the verdict by Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.
India's reaction came after the tribunal ruled that China has no legal basis to its claims of "historic rights" to islands in South China Sea, through which USD 3 trillion passes in trade annually.
The External Affairs Ministry yesterday said that India supports freedom of navigation and over flight, and unimpeded commerce, based on the principles of international law, as reflected notably in the UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea).
"India believes that states should resolve disputes through peaceful means without threat or use of force and exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that could complicate or escalate disputes affecting peace and stability," it said.
The ministry said that sea lanes of communication passing through the South China Sea are critical for peace, stability, prosperity and development.
"As a State Party to the UNCLOS, India urges all parties to show the utmost respect for the UNCLOS, which establishes the international legal order of the seas and oceans," it said.
The arbitral court has concluded that "there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights" within the sea areas falling within China's 'nine-dash line'.
Asserting that it "does not accept and does not recognise" the ruling, China has rejected the verdict as "null and void".
China asserts sovereignty over almost all of the South China Sea waters in the face of rival claims from its southeast Asian neighbours.
The Philippines had lodged the suit against China in 2013, saying that after 17 years of negotiations it had exhausted all political and diplomatic avenues.