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Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China on Settling Disputes Between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea Through Bilateral Negotiation

2016-06-08 09:46:22       source:Chinese Foreign Ministry

June 8, 2016

"China and the Philippines are neighbors facing each other across the sea, and the two peoples have enjoyed friendship over generations. Before the Philippines' unilateral initiation of the South China Sea arbitration on 22 January 2013, the overall situation in the South China Sea had remained stable despite certain disputes between China and the Philippines therein. Thanks to China's efforts, China and the Philippines carried out friendly consultations on, among others, establishing dialogue mechanisms and engaging in practical cooperation and joint development, and have achieved positive outcomes in this regard. However, ever since its initiation of the arbitration, the Philippines has unilaterally closed the door of settling the South China Sea issue with China through negotiation, and has, while turning its back on the bilateral consensus regarding managing differences, taken a series of provocative moves that infringed upon China's legitimate rights and interests. This has led to dramatic deterioration of China-Philippines relations as well as of peace and stability in the South China Sea. China is firmly opposed to the Philippines' unilateral actions. China adheres to the solemn position of non-acceptance of and non-participation in the arbitration, and will stay committed to settling the relevant disputes with the Philippines in the South China Sea through bilateral negotiation."

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