China will carry out military drills to assert its claim over disputed reefs and islands in the South China Sea from July 5 to 11.
China’s Maritime Safety Administration on Sunday announced that the drills would be conducted around the Paracel Islands. The announcement came days after the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration declared that it would issue a final ruling on July 12 on the South China Sea case filed by the Philippines against China.
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The Philippines government in questioning Beijing’s claim to disputed territories in the South China Sea. However, the Chinese government has said that it does not recognize the jurisdiction of the court and continues to maintain that it has ”indisputable sovereignty’ over the contested region.
Chinas Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei, earlier this week, said that the tribunal was established at the unilateral request of the Philippines, therefore, it has no jurisdiction over the case.
“The Philippines’ unilateral initiation of arbitration breaches international law,” Lei said, according to state-run Xinhua news agency. “With regard to territorial issues and maritime delimitation disputes, China does not accept any means of third party dispute settlement or any solution imposed on China.”
Meanwhile, a senior Japanese diplomat on Friday expressed concern about the territorial dispute between China and neighboring countries over the South China Sea. Koro Bessho, Tokyo’s ambassador to the United Nations, also hinted that the UN Security Council might take up the matter.
“Japan is deeply concerned about the situation. Security Council will put the issue on its agenda if there is a request to do so from its members,” he said, according to Japan Today.
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