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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Remarks on the Joint Statement on South China Sea and East China Sea Issued by Japan, US and Australia
2016/07/28

Q: On July 25th, foreign ministers of Japan, US and Australia, while attending Foreign Ministers' Meeting on East Asian Cooperation in Laos, held a strategic dialogue conference and issued a joint statement. The statement mentioned the South China Sea and the East China Sea issues and expressed serious concerns over disputes in the South China Sea. What is China's comment?

A: We have noticed relevant reports. China has on many occasions stated clearly that China does not accept or recognize the null and void award on the South China Sea arbitration case unilaterally initiated by the Philippines.

The award has gone beyond the scope of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, severely violated the general practice of international law and arbitration, and cannot represent international law. China resolutely opposes any proposal or action based on the award.

For a while, Japan, US, Australia have been preaching international law at any given opportunity. As a matter of fact, when it comes to international law, these tree countries have always been applying double standards: adopt whatever serves their purposes and disavow the rest. They are in no position to point fingers at other countries.

In fact, China and ASEAN countries have signed the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) which constitutes regional rules. On the same day when the three countries issued the so-called statement, foreign ministers from China and ASEAN countries issued a joint statement on comprehensively and effectively implementing the DOC, reaffirming that relevant disputes shall be resolved peacefully by sovereign states directly concerned through negotiation and consultation.

None of Japan, US, or Australia is a direct party of the South China Sea issue. We urge relevant countries to look at and deal with the south China Sea issue in a correct manner, respect the efforts made by regional countries to maintain stability in the South China sea and contribute to peace, stability, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific Region.

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