Chinese, U.S. foreign ministers discuss maritime issues over phone

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday to discuss maritime issues, at the latter's invitation.

Wang said that relations between China and the United States are generally on a sound track and that the two sides should further focus on cooperation while properly managing their differences to push forward the new type of major power relations between the two countries.

Wang said the so-called South China Sea arbitration is tainted "with illogical and flawed application of procedures, laws and evidences."

"Therefore, the arbitral tribunal which clearly has been expanding and over-stretching its jurisdiction beyond the limit has no jurisdiction at all (over the South China Sea disputes)," Wang said. "Any award it makes in disregard of the laws and facts is naturally not legally binding."

China, by not participating in and not accepting the so-called arbitration, is in fact upholding international laws and rules and safeguarding the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) seriously and its integrity.

"The arbitration tribunal farce should come to an end," Wang said.

Wang urged the United States to honor its commitment to not taking sides on issues related to sovereign disputes, be prudent with its actions and words, and not to take any actions that infringe upon the sovereignty and security interests of China.

The Chinese foreign minister said that, regardless of any outcome of the so-called arbitration, China will firmly safeguard its own territorial sovereignty and legitimate maritime rights and firmly safeguard the peace and stability in the South China Sea.

China remains committed to peacefully resolving the disputes through negotiations and consultations with directly involved parties, in accordance with the United Nations Charter and the fundamental principles of international law and international relations, including the principle of respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity and that of resolving disputes by peaceful means, Wang said.

Kerry, for his part, said the United States understands that China has its own stance on the arbitration.

He also expressed the hope that all relevant parties show restraint.

The United States and China share common interests in keeping the peace and stability in the South China Sea and the United States supports countries in the region to make continuous efforts to peacefully resolve disputes through diplomatic means, Kerry added.

Source: Xinhua