China rejects Manila`s move to take sea dispute to ITLOS

Last Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2012 - 13:11

Beijing: China has rejected a proposal by the Philippines to take the maritime dispute over South China Sea to an international tribunal, even as Beijing sent a major ship to beef up patrol in the disputed waters.

Manila had on Tuesday said that it had planned to take the dispute to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, to confirm whether it had "sovereign rights" over the waters.

Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Fu Ying summoned Philippine charge d`affaires in Beijing, Alex Chua, for the second time in four days yesterday to protest against Manila`s claim over Huangyan Island in the South China Sea.

She urged the Philippines to "fulfil its promise" of easing tension and withdraw its vessels from China`s territorial waters, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said.

Yesterday, Fu had also requested Manila "not to take any more measures that would worsen the situation", a report on state-run website China.Org.Cn, said.

Philippines Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin was quoted by The Philippine Star as saying that the dispute will be discussed on April 30 at a meeting in Washington between the country`s top defence and foreign affairs officials and their US counterparts.

China and Philippines had recently entered into a confrontation near the Huangyan Island after their ships came face to face.

A Philippine archaeological research ship was also in the waters near the island, which was, on Monday, requested by Beijing to leave.

Last morning, China`s fastest fishery administration vessel `Yuzheng 310` left Guangzhou to cruise on a yet to be known destination in the South China Sea, which officials said, was aimed to "better protect" Chinese fishermen`s rights and marine resources.

The move underscores Beijing`s determination to protect its maritime interests in response to Manila`s refusal to withdraw ships from Chinese waters, analysts said.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, April 19, 2012 - 12:43

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