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Constructive dialogue essential to solve South China Sea issue: Swiss association

Editor: Zhang Pengfei 丨Xinhua

07-13-2016 08:18 BJT

Full coverage: The South China Sea Issue

GENEVA, July 12 (Xinhua) -- The Swiss Association for Promoting Peaceful Reunification of China on Tuesday condemned a tribunal ruling with regards to the case unilaterally filed by the Philippines against China on disputes over the South China Sea.

"We firmly support the Chinese government's position that the award is null and void and has no binding force, and that China neither accepts nor recognizes it," the association said in a statement.

"We believe that China as a responsible big country can resolve the South China Sea issue to bring the Chinese people and the people of all countries surrounding the South China Sea prosperity and stable peace," it added.

The association mirrored China's stance that disputes should be resolved through negotiations while highlighting Beijing's legitimate and historical claim over South China Sea islands and relevant waters.

Together with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states, China in 2002 became a signatory of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.

Combined with consultations on the conduct of parties in the South China Sea, the platforms enable states to exchange views, manage differences and enhance cooperation, China's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva, Ma Zhaoxu, explained earlier this month.

"China has always been very positive and constructive in these negotiations and consultations," he said.

With regard to the current disputes in the region, China proposes a "dual-track" approach, namely peacefully and properly handling the disputes through direct talks between the parties involved and jointly maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea with ASEAN members.

Jean-Pierre Lehmann, international political economy emeritus professor at the Lausanne-based Institute for Management Development, wrote earlier this year that encouraging dialogue could lead to a better understanding of what is at stake while providing a holistic overview of China's position in global affairs.

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, at least 60 countries openly support China's stance on the issue.

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