Guam's Bordallo issues statement on South China Sea International Tribunal decision

Reacting guardedly to India's statement on the strategic South China Sea verdict by a UN-backed tribunal, China today said it too wants to resolve the dispute by "fully complying" with the global law.

Speaking from Beijing, Mr Carr said not even the U.S., which has conducted three such patrols, was saying that would be their response to the worldwide court ruling denying China's claims to the South China Sea.

"The Tribunal's decision is final and legally binding on both China and the Philippines", US State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that the US expects that "both parties will comply with their obligations".

China is "strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposed to" the USA statement, adding that it "lodged solemn representations with the U.S. side", a statement issued by the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said.

Military experts also said Beijing could step up its build-up of arms and troops if the United States takes "provocative" measures to challenge its presence, the South China Morning Post reported Wednesday.

The UN-backed tribunal also said that any "historic rights" to resources in the waters of the South China Sea were "extinguished" when China signed up to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

While Taiwan is not party to the case, its claims in the South China Sea are similar to those of China, and Taiping Island was brought up in testimony during the court hearings.

More news: Stimulus Helps China Maintain Economic Growth

Tensions could escalate as China refuses to recognize the court decision.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Zhenmin insisted that China's aim was "to turn the South China Sea into a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation".

The South China Sea is also claimed in parts by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei, as well as Taiwan.

"While China upholds its historical rights, we respect the [UN Convention on the Law of the Sea] and should defend our de facto occupation of the island [Itu Aba]", Lo said, asking the ministry to pay extra attention when responding to China's calls. The US Pacific Command said it had deployed an aircraft carrier in the sea to support "security" while China had conducted navy drills just before the verdict. The tribunal extends to Manila the legal rights to the economic zone extending 200 miles from its coast into the China South Sea with all the rights to enjoy the resources-fishing, hydrocarbons and minerals-that may exist beneath the seabed.

It said China had violated the Philippines' sovereign rights and had caused "severe harm to the coral reef environment" by building artificial islands.

One official said new Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte remains "somewhat of an unknown quantity" who has been alternately bellicose and accommodating toward China.

China justifies its sovereignty over the sea - outlined in a vague map - by claiming it was the first country to discover, name and exploit it.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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