China says USA accusations on South China Sea are 'unjustified'

China says USA accusations on South China Sea are 'unjustified'

He said the Philippines, as a law-abiding, peace-loving and responsible member of the worldwide community, was reaffirming its adherence to the award and its enforcement without any possibility of compromise or change.

Pompeo's announcement threatens to bring the United States into direct conflict with China, as USA forces are bound by a 1951 mutual defense treaty to help the Philippines defend "the island territories under its jurisdiction in the Pacific Ocean" as well as "its armed forces, public vessels or aircraft in the Pacific".

China "is continuing to attempt to alter the status quo in the East China Sea and the South China Sea", Japan said in the defense white paper, approved by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government on Tuesday.

"The award is non-negotiable", Locsin said in a statement.

The United States last week had its own show of force, sending ships on patrol in the area, sparking warnings from Beijing.

In the South China Sea, it said Beijing was asserting territorial claims by establishing administrative districts around disputed islands that forced countries distracted by the virus outbreak to respond.

AgenciesZhao said, "the award was based on flawed evidence and unwarranted application of law".

Beijing claims most of the South China Sea through a so-called nine-dash line, a vague delineation based on maps from the 1940s.

On July 12, the four-year anniversary of the United Nations arbitration ruling, Filipino Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. called on Beijing to adhere to the ruling, saying that it was "non-negotiable".

This comes amid near-daily reports in Chinese state media on purported threats to the South China Sea and its airspace, such as US military reconnaissance aircraft flying near the Chinese mainland for three straight days through July 8.

Pompeo said that China, based on the court decision, can not make claims based on the Scarborough Reef or Spratly Islands, a vast uninhabited archipelago.

"While the new U.S. statement is meant to signal a harder line, whether and how the U.S. intends to enforce this new alignment of U.S. policy with the 2016 arbitral tribunal ruling will be more important, as it is unlikely signaling alone will change China's behavior", U.S. Institute of Peace senior policy analyst Patricia Kim told VOA.

"Any PRC action to harass other states' fishing or hydrocarbon development in these waters - or to carry out such activities unilaterally - is unlawful", Pompeo said, referring to the People's Republic of China. China can not be allowed to treat the SCS as its maritime empire. Pompeo likewise backed the Philippines and other Southeast Asian allies in protecting their sovereign rights to their offshore resources. Rather, claims to historic rights, or other sovereign rights or jurisdiction that exceed the geographic and substantive limits of maritime entitlements under UNCLOS, are without legal effect. The Chinese Embassy in Manila said Tuesday the 2016 arbitral award by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in favor of the Philippines over the disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea was "illegal and invalid".

China vies with Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Philippines over parts of the 3.5 million-square-kilometer South China Sea north of the Natuna Islands.

The 2016 decision was issued by a tribunal under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

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