World Bulletin / News Desk
China has stressed that it will not be forced into accepting an upcoming ruling by a Hague court on the disputed South China Sea, insisting that it would be a “sheer delusion” for Washington to expect Beijing to do so.
The state-run China Daily reported Saturday that a foreign ministry spokesman dismissed a call by a Pentagon official responsible for East Asia, Abraham Denmark, for China and the Philippines -- which launched the arbitration -- to comply with the July 12 ruling.
Hong Lei said Friday that the case at the Permanent Court of Arbitration “was unilaterally initiated” by administration of former Philippines President Benigno Aquino and “challenges the dignity of the international law and undermines the rule of law in essence".
He told reporters that it was “sheer delusion to expect to force China into accepting the decision via diplomatic channels or public fanfare”.
China has insisted that the court in The Hague lacks jurisdiction over the case as it involves sovereignty and maritime delimitation -- issues which Beijing says are not subject to third-party arbitration.
China claims around 90 percent of the Sea -- one of the world's busiest shipping lanes believed to be sitting atop huge oil and gas deposits -- but Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also consider some of the region’s waters, islands and reefs to be their territory.