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Statement by the Foreign Affairs Committee of China's National People's Congress on the Award of the Arbitral Tribunal in the South China Sea Arbitration Established at the Unilateral Request of the Republic of the Philippines
2016/07/15

On the award of 12 July 2016 of the Arbitral Tribunal in the South China Sea Arbitration established at the unilateral request of the Republic of the Philippines, the Foreign Affairs Committee of China's National People's Congress solemnly states as follows:

1. The Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China on the Award of 12 July 2016 of the Arbitral Tribunal in the South China Sea Arbitration Established at the Request of the Republic of the Philippines and the Statement of the Government of the People's Republic of China on China's Territorial Sovereignty and Maritime Rights and Interests in the South China Sea have already stated China's position that the relevant award has no binding force on China. The Foreign Affairs Committee of China's National People's Congress firmly supports this position.

2. China has sovereignty over the South China Sea Islands, consisting of the Dongsha Islands, the Xisha Islands, the Zhongsha Islands and the Nansha Islands. In the South China Sea, China has internal waters, territorial sea, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, based on the South China Sea Islands. China has historic rights in the South China Sea. No country, organization or institution is entitled to deny China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea.

3. The Philippines' unilateral initiation of arbitration breaches the agreement between China and the Philippines to settle the relevant disputes through negotiation, violates the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, goes against the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), abuses the arbitration procedures under UNCLOS, severely infringes on China's right as a sovereign state and a State Party to UNCLOS to seek means and procedures of dispute settlement of its own choice, and seriously undermines the integrity and authority of UNCLOS.

The Arbitral Tribunal in the South China Sea Arbitration established at the unilateral request of the Republic of the Philippines has no jurisdiction over the relevant matters. Disregarding the history of and basic facts about the South China Sea, the Arbitral Tribunal misinterpreted and abused the power given by UNCLOS, and arbitrarily expanded and exceeded its jurisdiction by hearing the merits of the case. Such acts violate the general legal principles of international law and arbitration including UNCLOS. The award of the Arbitral Tribunal is thus invalid and China does not recognize the award.

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