Palace: China talks must comply with Constitution, international law
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - July 20, 2016 - 3:23pm

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Wednesday stressed that negotiations with China over the dispute on the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea must be compliant with the Constitution, international law and rule of law.

Foreign Affairs Perfecto Yasay Jr. earlier revealed that his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, offered to hold talks to resolve the maritime dispute outside the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

READ: The verdict: Philippines wins arbitration case vs China | DFA calls for restraint, sobriety after tribunal favors Philippines

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement that the country considers its sovereign economic rights to be non-negotiable.

"The Philippines continues along a diplomatic path to fully realize the (exclusive economic zone) rights granted by the Arbitration Court - engaging in bilateral talks to find mutually acceptable arrangements to (Republic of the Philippines), (People's Republic of China); and consulting with our regional allies," the statement read.

Yasay had rejected Wang's offer to hold talks not based on the arbitral tribunal's decision but the latter warned of a possible confrontation if the Philippines will insist on the ruling.

The Hague-based tribunal concluded that China violated its obligations under the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea by conducting massive land reclamation activities in the Spratly Islands, which is in the Philippines' exclusive economic zone.

The arbitral tribunal also ruled that China's historic claim of the nine-dash line over the disputed waters does not have legal basis.

RELATED: Phl lead counsel: International pressure may push China to comply with sea ruling

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