China has rejected an international tribunal ruling that its claims to rights in the South China Sea have no legal basis.
The tribunal, based in The Hague, ruled that there was no evidence that China had historic rights to the waters or resources that fell within its “nine-dash line”, and was violating the Philippine’s sovereign rights with its operations there.
The ruling was made by an arbitration tribunal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
“China solemnly declares that the award is null and void and has no binding force. China neither accepts nor recognizes it,” said a statement by the Chinese foreign ministry and available to Daily Trust.
The statement said the country’s “territorial sovereignty and marine rights and interests” in the seas would not be affected by those awards, stressing that China opposes and would never accept any claim or action based on those awards.
But the ministry said China was committed to resolving the disputes peacefully through negotiation and consultation with its neighbours.