China tells Philippines return to negotiation ‘as soon as possible’

China is once again calling on Philippines to return to negotiations to solve West Philippine Sea dispute. The call from China comes after the culmination of Arbitral Tribunal’s hearing on jurisdiction and admissibility of Philippines’s case against China’s maritime claims.

Philippines has presented its position on the the issues of jurisdiction and admissibility from July 7 to 13 before the tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands.

“China will never accept any imposed solution or unilaterally resorting to a third-party settlement. China urges the Philippines to return to the right approach of resolving relevant disputes through negotiation and consultation as soon as possible,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a statement today.

“China has always adhered to and has been committed to resolving, in accordance with international law and on the basis of respecting historical facts, relevant disputes relating to territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests with relevant states directly concerned through negotiation and consultation,” the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, the Arbitral Tribunal is giving China an opportunity to comment until August 17 on Philippines’ arguments during the Hearing on Jurisdiction and Admissibility.

“The Arbitral Tribunal will endeavour to issue its decision on such issues of Jurisdiction and Admissibility that it determines appropriate as soon as possible and expects to do so before the end of the year,” the Artbitral Tribunal said in a press release dated July 13. “In the event that the Arbitral Tribunal determines that it has jurisdiction over some or all of the Philippines’ claims, it will then proceed to a hearing on the merits.”