Chinese foreign ministry hits Del Rosario
Camille Diola (The Philippine Star) - July 12, 2013 - 6:22pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Foreign Ministry of China said Friday that Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario was lying when he told the international community in Brussels that the Philippines has tried all peaceful political and diplomatic approaches to address the territorial dispute over the South China Sea.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying claimed at a regular press briefing that the Philippines ignored China's repeated requests to hold "consultation mechanisms" to resolve the rival claims on several coastal territories.

"The Philippine side has closed the door on talks and consultations and at the same time remained keen on attacking China in the international arena," Hua said, according to a report of state-owned press agency Xinhua.

She criticized Del Rosario for saying that the Philippine government has sought arbitration as a "last resort" as this is "not factual."

Related: Del Rosario at EU: 'Peaceful' efforts to end sea row 'unsuccessful'

"Such acts are not helpful in resolving the issue," Hua said, adding that China also proposed to set up a new consultation process if the existing one is proved unhelpful.

The Philippines elevated its plea to have third party arbitration in an international tribunal and also sought to have a binding Code of Conduct over the sea crafted by Southeast Asian nations.

"The five-member panel of the arbitration tribunal has already been completed ... I have no doubt that they will look at the merits of the case on the basis of law," Del Rosario said in the speech.

Saying that China firmly safeguards its maritime sovereignty, Hua expressed dismay that the Philippines has been "misleading the public" and instead resort to bilateral talks.

"The Chinese side has sufficient legal basis under international law for not accepting arbitration," Hua said.

Chinese officials have also criticized the country for seeking international help especially from the United States on the maritime dispute.

Related: Chinese general: Philippines stirs trouble for asking US help

Hua said that China hopes the US would keep its promise not to take sides on the dispute.

"China hopes the United States will respect the facts and not side with any particular party," she said in a written statement.

CHINA CODE OF CONDUCT DEL ROSARIO FOREIGN AFFAIRS SECRETARY ALBERT FOREIGN MINISTRY FOREIGN MINISTRY OF CHINA HUA HUA CHUNYING SOUTH CHINA SEA UNITED STATES
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