UN's Ban urges resolution of sea disputes on China trip

UN Secretary-General calls for peaceful resolution of disputes in South China Sea ahead of Hague court’s July 12 ruling

UN's Ban urges resolution of sea disputes on China trip

World Bulletin / News Desk

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for the peaceful resolution of disputes in the South China Sea during a visit to Beijing.

During a joint press conference Thursday with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Ban said, “I did stress to Minister Wang, as I have with all other countries involved, the need for them to resolve their differences in a peaceful manner and to avoid any escalation or misunderstandings that could put security and development in the region at risk.”

Chinese state news agency Xinhua also quoted Wang responding to the comments by saying that such a stance “is precisely the longstanding position of the Chinese government”.

“Any effort to reject dialogue or to unilaterally initiate arbitration without the consent of the other party would be against the spirit of the international rule of law,” he added.

Wang’s remarks come as the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague is due to rule July 12 in a case filed against China by the Philippines over parts of the South China Sea -- which Manila calls the West Philippine Sea.

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.

China has insisted that the Hague court lacks jurisdiction over the case as it involves sovereignty and maritime delimitation -- issues which Beijing says are not subject to third-party arbitration.

On Thursday, Wang warned that an approach involving unilaterally launched arbitrations “would not help to bring about a peaceful resolution of disputes. On the contrary, it would only escalate disputes and tension and should be resisted.”

Ban’s five-day visit to China is his tenth since 2007. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Temmuz 2016, 10:22