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Legal experts welcome China's White Paper on South China Sea


07-15-2016 11:37 BJT

Full coverage: The South China Sea Issue

Chinese experts on legal and border issues have welcomed a white paper on the South China Sea published by the State Council on Wednesday, a day after the tribunal released its final decision on the South China Sea arbitration. They say the paper will help the international community evaluate the dispute and arbitration.

The historical facts collected in the white paper show that China was the first not only to discover, name, and explore the South China Sea islands, but also to exercise sovereignty and jurisdiction over them. Professor Hu Dekun, from China institute of boundary and ocean studies of Wuhan University dismissed the arbitration.

He said, "The essence is a territorial dispute and a dispute on maritime rights and interests, on which the international tribunal has no right of jurisdiction and arbitration. Therefore this is an illegal and invalid result."

The White Paper reiterates China's position and policy on the South China Sea. The key message is to settle the dispute through negotiation.

Wu Shicun, president of national institute for South China Sea studies, said, "China does not acknowledge any illegal invasion of the South China Sea islands. It calls for a peaceful resolution and joint development. China dedicates itself to maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea."

"Issuing a white paper is a gentle form of diplomacy. Who should be blamed, who is sabotaging the international rule of law, and who is defending it. Through the white paper, I think insightful people in the world can understand that China is the real defender of the law of the sea," Hu said.


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