Beijing: China on Tuesday said it will not accept the decision of a UN arbitration sought by the Philippines to solve the South China Sea territorial disputes, saying the proceedings were unilateral and involves "a third party."
The Philippines has asked the international tribunal in The Hague to declare China's claims to virtually all of the South China Sea invalid.
"China has repeatedly expounded its position of not accepting or getting involved in these proceedings initiated unilaterally by the Philippines," said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying.
"On the issue of territorial sovereignty and maritime rights, China will never accept any imposed plan, nor any solution arrived at by unilaterally resorting to a third party for resolving disputes," Hua said in a statement.
The Philippines filed its arbitration case at The Hague in early 2013. The hearing on jurisdiction and admissibility of the case began last week and was concluded yesterday.
The petition contests Chinese assertion to exercise "historic rights" over the waters, seabed and subsoil beyond the limits of its entitlements under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as well as the nine-dash line drawn by Beijing.
China's claims to virtually all of the SCS is contested by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.
China refused to get involved in the proceedings, citing its policy of resolving disputes on territorial sovereignty and maritime rights only through direct consultations and negotiations with the countries involved.
Hua said this is common practice in the international community, and has been consistently applied by China. She urged the Philippines to negotiate directly with China.
She said the Philippines' initiation of the arbitration ignored China's legitimate rights under such international laws as the UNCLOS and breached commitments made by the Philippines not to unilaterally seek arbitration.
The spokesperson laid the blame for the current tension in the South China Sea on the Philippines, saying it has illegally occupied Chinese islands there since the 1970s.
"Despite being the victim of the South China sea disputes, China remains highly restrained and keeps safeguarding regional peace and stability in mind," Hua said.