ULAN BATOR — Premier Li Keqiang said on July 16 that the South China Sea arbitration award will have no impact whatsoever on China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea.
Speaking at an informal meeting during the 11th Asian-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit in Ulan Bator, Premier Li said the South China Sea issue should not be subject to multilateral discussions from the very beginning, and should not be included in the Ulaanbaatar summit’s agenda.
“But since certain countries commented on the issue, it is thus necessary for China to come out to clarify its stance and spell out the truth,” he said.
Premier Li said China never participated in the arbitration unilaterally initiated by the Philippines, adding that his country neither accepts nor acknowledges the so-called arbitration award.
“By doing so, we are both exercising our rights in accordance with international law, and safeguarding the dignity of international law,” he said.
“Under no circumstance will the arbitration award exert any impact on China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea,” Premier Li added.
The Premier said China adheres to settlement of the South China Sea disputes via dialogue and consultation with countries directly involved on the basis of respect for historical facts and in accordance with international law, so as to safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea.