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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Remarks on Vietnam's Statement on the Chinese Government's Position Paper on Rejecting the Jurisdiction of the Arbitral Tribunal Established at the Request of the Philippines for the South China Sea Arbitration

2014/12/12

Q: In response to the position paper on the South China Sea arbitration that China released on 7 December, the spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry of Vietnam said on 11 December that Vietnam has sovereignty over Nansha Islands and Xisha Islands, and opposes China's claims in the South China Sea based on "the dotted line". He stated that the Vietnamese side had already made clear its position on the arbitration case to the Arbitral Tribunal. What is China's comment on that?

A: China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters. And it is an indisputable fact that the Xisha Islands are an integral part of China's territory. As early as 1948, the Chinese government published an official map which displayed "the dotted line" in the South China Sea. China's sovereignty over the South China Sea and its claims to the relevant rights have been formed over a long course of history. They are solidly grounded in international law and have been consistently upheld by successive Chinese governments. China will by no means accept Vietnam's illegal and invalid sovereignty claims over Nansha and Xisha Islands.

The Chinese side urges the Vietnamese side to earnestly respect China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, work with China to resolve relevant disputes over the Nansha Islands through consultation and negotiation on the basis of respecting historical facts and international law so as to jointly safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea.

China will stick to its principled position of neither accepting nor participating in the South China Sea arbitration unilaterally initiated by the Philippines. The position paper that the Foreign Ministry of China was authorized to publish on 7 December has systematically elaborated on the legal basis for China's position that the Arbitral Tribunal has no jurisdiction in this case. China's position will not change.

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