Philippines' move on Spratlys conflict to the United Nations- China rejects

China pronounced rejection July 12, 2011 for Philippines move to raise the Spratlys issue to the United Nations Tribunal for the two nations conflicting claims in the West Philippines’ Sea (WPS) or also known as South China Sea.

“China always maintains that the South China Sea dispute should be resolved… through direct negotiations between directly concerned countries,” foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters.

China’s worry of the United Nation’s Tribunal is that; their based of claim is not accordance with the International Law of Sea and might reject their claim over Spratlys as their sole bases is that they been to the spartlys and the main islands of the Philippines in the ancient times which they even claim that Spratlys and the Philippines is part of China during their old dynasty.

China and the Philippines have overlapping claims to parts of the West Philippine Sea / South China Sea, which is believed to hold vast mineral resources, as do Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, who visited China First week of July 2011, said he called for the dispute to go before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in his meetings with senior officials.

The tribunal is an independent judicial body established by UNCLOS, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to handle disputes.

Speaking to reporters after his visit, del Rosario said he pointed out that the Philippines’ claims over parts of the West Philippine Sea, including the Spratly islands, were “based on international law, specifically UNCLOS”.

Chinese officials however said their claims were based on “historic rights”, the secretary said.

The Philippines and Vietnam have in recent months accused China of taking increasingly aggressive actions in staking its claims in the disputed waters, including an incident where the Chinese allegedly fired on Filipino fishermen.

US, Chinese military officials hold talks on Spratlys row

Top US and Chinese military officials held talks on Monday (July 12, 2011) in a “candid manner” amid tensions in the West Philippine Sea or South China Sea.

State-run Xinhua News Agency released a statement saying that Chen Bingde, chief of the general staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and his U.S. counterpart Adm. Mike Mullen discussed the rising tension in the South China Sea.

“We discussed four major topics, including the South China Sea, the attitude of some U.S. politicians toward China, cyber security and China’s military development,” Chen was quoted as saying after a closed-door meeting with Mullen.

“Both sides exchanged views on those issues in a candid manner,” he said.

Mullen arrived here on Sunday to start his four-day visit.

In his press conference on Sunday, Mullen raised the issue of the South China Sea, where other countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam have protested China’s renewed effort to assert its claim over the disputed territory.

Beijing maintained that the potentially oil-rich Spratly Islands had always been part of their territory.

The Philippines and the US are presently conducting naval exercises near the disputed waters, while Vietnam had just ended a similar exercise in the South China Sea.

Observers said Mullen’s arrival here is a manifestation that the Americans are renewing the call for “freedom of navigation exercise in international waters.”

Mullen said there should be a constant dialogue between US and China’s armed forces to “minimize miscalculation and boost mutual trust.”

Chen said both sides have reached several “common grounds” in their meeting.

“It’s fair to say that we found a lot of common ground while we do have different opinions on certain issues,” he said, adding that the two sides agreed to implement the consensus reached by their heads of state to push forward the development of bilateral military relations.

 

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