The Chinese Embassy In Manila castigated United States Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg for his statements that China’s 10-dash-line has no basis in international law.
Zhang Hua, the spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Manila, said in a statement on Monday that Washington is not a concerned party in the territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
The United States has also not ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos), which was signed by China and the Philippines, as well as 163 other countries. The convention provides for the delimitation of countries’ territorial waters, exclusive economic zones and continental shelves.
“It is our hope that it [US] could do more to promote peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific, rather than the opposite,” Hua said.
“China always maintains that the South China Sea dispute should be solved through bilateral negotiation and consultation between countries directly concerned based on respect for historical facts and international law,” he added.
Goldberg, the special guest during last week’s Philippine Constitution Association meeting, called on claimants in the region to resolve their disputes before international tribunals or the arbitration under the Unclos.
The diplomat, however, said the US does not take any sides in the territorial disputes, but it hopes claimants can resolve them “through tribunals, code of conduct, negotiations directly with parties not through intimidation but legitimate kinds of discussions.”
He lauded Manila’s decision to bring China’s claim before an arbitral tribunal. Goldberg said it was an ideal approach.
The ambassador’s statement came two days after China published its new maps that show the West Philippine Sea territories as integral part of mainland China.
But the Chinese Foreign Ministry warned countries not to “over-read” the publication of the new maps.
Hua said China’s sovereignty over the land and water features in the West Philippine Sea “were formed over a long period of 2,000-plus years.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs is still weighing if it will file a diplomatic protest because of the publication of the new maps.
The Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam and Taiwan, which China considers a renegade island, also have claims in the resource-rich region.