VIENTIANE, July 26 (Xinhua) — Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has called for an end to the political manipulation and sensationalization of the South China Sea issue.

Wang also urged related parties to get back to the right track of implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), which was signed in November 2002 as a code of conduct for all parties involved in the South China Sea issue.

Wang made the call at a press briefing Monday following his meeting with the foreign ministers of the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) — Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, The Philippines and Vietnam — in the Lao capital.


Wang said the so-called award rendered recently by an ad hoc tribunal handling the South China Sea arbitration is tantamount to filling a wrong prescription for the South China Sea disputes.

The former Philippine government, headed by Benigno Aquino III, unilaterally initiated the South China Sea arbitration in 2013. The move has violated the Philippines' standing agreement with China to settle relevant disputes through bilateral negotiation, violated China's right to choose means of dispute settlement of its own will as a State Party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and abused the UNCLOS dispute settlement procedures.

The ad hoc tribunal issued an award on July 12, siding with Manila's cunningly packaged claims and denying China's long-standing historic rights in the South China Sea.

"The Philippines' territorial claim over part of Nansha Qundao is groundless from the perspectives of either history or international law," the Chinese government said in a white paper issued on July 13.

"The arbitral tribunal established at the Philippines' unilateral request has no jurisdiction over relevant submissions, and awards rendered by it are null and void and have no binding force," said the document.

Wang said the wrong prescription has led to increasingly hot ballyhoo over the arbitration and some countries outside the region have become extremely excited, as if running an unabated high fever.

The normal regional order and the overall interests of the regional countries have been undermined, he added.

In his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on the sidelines of the ASEAN foreign ministers' meeting Monday, Wang said he expected the United States to take steps to support China and the Philippines in resuming their talks over the South China Sea issue.x The United States will not take a position on an arbitral ruling of the South China Sea arbitration case, Kerry said, adding that his country supports the resumption of talks between China and the Philippines.

In a separate meeting with his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida, on Monday, Wang said Japan, which is not a claimant in the South China Sea disputes, should avoid interfering in and hyping up the maritime spats.

China has always been maintaining the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, Wang said.


According to Wang, all foreign ministers agreed at the meeting that the South China Sea disputes are not an issue between China and ASEAN and the disputes should not be allowed to affect the overall situation of the cooperation between the two sides.

He pointed out that ASEAN, as a whole, did not make comments or take sides on the arbitration, and it expressed support for China and the Philippines to resolve the issue through dialogue and consultation.

In a joint statement issued after the meeting between Wang and his counterparts from the ASEAN member countries, China and ASEAN reaffirmed their efforts to promote peace, stability, mutual trust and confidence in the South China Sea.

According to the statement, the countries recognize that maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea region serves the fundamental interests of ASEAN member states and China as well as the international community.

They are also committed to the full and effective implementation of the DOC and working substantively toward the early adoption of a Code of Conduct based on consensus.

The statement said China and the 10 ASEAN members "reaffirm their respect for and commitment to the freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea as provided for by the universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea."

It also commits all parties to undertaking to "resolve their territorial and jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means, without resorting to the threat or use of force, through friendly consultations and negotiations by sovereign states directly concerned."