China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the so-called arbitration on the South China Sea issue “distorts the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea” and is a challenge to “the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea as a regional rule,” according to spokesman Hong Lei. The case was unilaterally filed by Manila during the term of former president Benigno Aquino III. Hong reiterated that China will neither accept nor recognize the arbitration, stressing that China’s position will not change. The spokesman noted that it is pure fantasy to think diplomatic pressure and sensationalization will force China to accept the verdict, adding that “we advise relevant parties to give up such futile attempts as soon as possible”.
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