Beijing: China on Sunday asked Japan to restrain itself from interfering in the South China Sea dispute, saying Tokyo should instead consider its “shameful history” before accusing it of expansionist behaviour in the strategic region.
China took exception to Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida’s remarks that he would discuss the dispute over territorial claims with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
Kishida had said he would talk about the maritime dispute if he gets a chance to meet Wang during the series of foreign ministers’ meeting involving ASEAN and other Asian countries.
China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said that the arbitration by a UN-backed international panel based in The Hague was “illegal and invalid” from beginning to the end.
China has rejected the ruling by The Permanent Court of Arbitratioon on a case brought before it by The Philippines after years of negotiations between the two countries.
It had also refused to participate in the arbitration process, claiming the tribunal lacks jurisdiction.
The Chinese spokesperson said that China’s rejection of the award was “indeed in accordance with the international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.”
“Japan is not a party to the South China Sea issue, and considering its shameful history, it has no rights whatsoever to accuse China on the matter,” state-run Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.
The court found that China had no basis for its expansive claims to territorial waters of the South China – through which more than USD 5 trillion in trade passes annually – around the Philippines. It has similar claims against other ASEAN nations, including Vietnam and Malaysia.
China and Japan have had a rather frosty relationship over a range of matters – including historical and economic issues.
Bilateral ties also strained due to a territorial row over a group of islands, known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and the Diaoyu islands in China. The issue ignites nationalist passions in both countries.
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