China rejects Philippines' call for international arbitration

China rejects Philippines' call for international arbitration

China today said it would not accept any international arbitration in its dispute with Philippines over an area in the South China Sea, rejecting Manila's call for approaching an international court to settle the dispute.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Liu Weimin, said that the concerned island was an "inherent territory" of China and Philippines should accept its jurisdiction over it.

"The Huangyan island is China's inherent territory. There is no such an issue like referring it to international court or international arbitration," Liu Weimin told a media briefing here today.

"The involvement of international agency in the issue of territorial sovereignty or maritime interests and rights should follow procedures and regulations.

Playing up wishfully will not solve the current situation," he said, reacting to Philippines' call to accept international arbitration.

Philippines, that calls the uninhabited island as Scarborough Shoal, has already approached the International Court of Justice in Hague.

The navies of the two countries has had a stand-off in the disputed area over the past several weeks.

Liu said China's claim is based on the fact that it is the earliest country to discover and name it, besides exercising sovereignty over it.

He said Philippines had not objected to Chinese claims until 1997 and has even said the island is outside its territorial jurisdiction.

Its only claim that the island has formed a part of the Exclusive Economic Zone is not justified by any international law and does not comply with any UN convention of law of the seas, he said.

The Philippines said today that it would seek more US military help and wants the United States to help it achieve a "credible" defence system.

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