UK, France, Germany refute China’s expansive South China Sea claims


Chinese structures and an airstrip on the artificial reef Subi Reef in the Spratly Archipelago in the South China Sea are seen on Friday from a Philippine Air Force C-130 transport plane. —AP

MANILA, Philippines – Citing the Philippines’ victory at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, the UK, France and Germany have rejected China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea.

In a joint note verbale submitted to the United Nations in New York on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila), the three European countries said China’s “historic” claims in the South China Sea did not respect international law and the provisions of the United Nations Convention. on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

“France, Germany and the United Kingdom also point out that the allegations relating to the exercise of ‘historic rights’ over the waters of the South China Sea do not comply with international law and the provisions of UNCLOS and recall that the arbitral award in the Philippines v. China dated July 12, 2016 clearly confirms this point, ”we read.In addition, they stated that all maritime claims in highly contested waters “should be formulated and resolved peacefully in accordance with the principles and rules of UNCLOS and the means and procedures for the settlement of disputes provided for in the Convention”.

“This position is reaffirmed without prejudice to competing claims of coastal states over disputed territorial sovereignty over naturally formed land elements and over areas of the South China Sea continental shelf over which France, Germany and the United Kingdom do not take a position, ”she notes. verbal reading.

The UK, France and Germany are all States Parties to UNCLOS.

China has long been pushing for its comprehensive claims in the South China Sea.

It refuses to recognize the 2016 PCA ruling that invalidates Beijing’s claims over the entire South China Sea and enforces the Philippines’ rights to its 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone under UNCLOS.

China’s reclamation activities and militarization in the hotly contested area have also raised concerns about peace and stability in the region.

On the fourth anniversary of the decision, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. called the CPA’s landmark decision “non-negotiable”.

In response, the Chinese Embassy in Manila claimed that the arbitration award was illegal and invalid.

“The arbitration and the so-called South China Sea award are illegal and invalid,” the Beijing embassy said in July.


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