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China rejects US, Japan, Philippines concern on South China Sea

Xinhua | April 19, 2024

Relevant countries' groundless accusation and deliberate smears against China on the South China Sea issue are unacceptable, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said on Thursday.

Spokesperson Lin Jian made the remarks at a regular news briefing when asked to comment on a statement issued by the United States, Japan and the Philippines after their trilateral summit. The statement expressed so-called "serious concerns about China's behavior in the South China Sea" and called on China to abide by the 2016 Arbitral Tribunal.

Lin said China strongly opposes the practice of bloc politics by relevant countries, firmly opposes any acts that stoke and drive up tensions and harm other countries' strategic security and interests, and is seriously against forming exclusive groupings in this region.

Noting that the award of the South China Sea Arbitration is illegal, null and void, he said China does not accept or take part in the Arbitration, does not accept or acknowledge the so-called award, still less does China accept any claim or action that is based on the award.

Lin said the South China Sea Arbitration and its illegal award harm the interests of countries in the region, including the Philippines.

"No matter how some may try to frame the South China Sea issue, the issue remains what it is," Lin said, adding that no political manipulation disguised as legal moves will go anywhere or deter China from safeguarding its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.

Lin said China will continue to firmly safeguard its lawful rights in accordance with domestic and international laws. "We urge relevant countries to be sober-minded and change course instead of going further down the wrong path," he added.