Thursday, January 2, 2020

Nansha Islands stance consistent with international laws: Chinese FM

China's position on the so-called exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea is consistent with international laws including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday.

Whether the Indonesian side accepts it or not, nothing will change the fact that China has rights and interests over the relevant waters, said ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang during a routine press conference.

Geng was responding to opposition from Indonesia's foreign ministry after a Chinese vessel entered the waters bordering the South China Sea, which Indonesia claimed was an exclusive economic zone.

The so-called award of the South China Sea arbitration is illegal, null and void, and we have long made it clear that China neither accepts nor recognizes it. The Chinese side firmly opposes any country, organization or individual using the invalid arbitration award to hurt China's interests, Geng said.

Jakarta summoned the Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia after the vessel entered the waters, Jakarta Times reported.

During Tuesday's press briefing, Geng said, "China has sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and has sovereign rights and jurisdiction over relevant waters near the Nansha Islands," and Chinese fishermen have long been engaging in fishery activities in relevant waters near the Nansha Islands, which has all along been legal and legitimate.

Geng also said the Chinese Ambassador reiterated this position, noting that China would like to continue to work with Indonesia in managing disputes through bilateral dialogue to maintain cooperation and regional stability.

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