On July 14, CCTV interviewed State Councilor Yang Jiechi about the so-called award of the Arbitral Tribunal for the South China Sea arbitration during which he elaborated on China’s position.
Q: How do you view the award by the so-called Arbitral Tribunal for the South China Sea arbitration?
A: The South China Sea arbitration has been a political farce all along, staged under the cover of law and driven by a hidden agenda. Certain countries outside the region have attempted to deny China’s sovereign rights and interests in the South China Sea through the arbitration. And I must point out that the arbitration runs counter to the spirit of international rule of law, puts regional peace and stability in jeopardy, and undermines the interests of the international community. Most countries in the world see this clearly.
Q: How will the award affect China’s dotted line in the South China Sea?
A: China’s sovereignty, rights and relevant claims in the South China Sea are gradually formed and developed by the practice of the Chinese people throughout millennia and have been upheld by successive Chinese governments.
Q: Some people accuse China of defying international rules by not accepting or recognizing the award of the Tribunal, believing that China has changed its policy of peaceful development. How will you respond to that?
A: The arbitration will not in the slightest way shake China’s resolve to pursue the path of peaceful development. China remains committed to developing friendly relations with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence, and deepening win-win cooperation and connectivity with its neighbors. It adheres to negotiation and consultation as a means for addressing relevant territorial and maritime delimitation issues, and resolutely safeguards peace and stability in the region.
Q: What impact will the arbitration case have on China-ASEAN relations? How do you see the prospect of this relationship?
A: The South China Sea issue is not an issue between China and ASEAN. In fact, ASEAN has long made clear its neutrality on this issue and its position of not intervening in specific disputes. Therefore, it should not take sides on issues related to the arbitration.
Q: How do you view the future of China-Philippines relations?
A: The arbitration violates both the agreement between China and the Philippines and international law, and goes against the common interests of the two countries and peoples. It is a major political obstacle to the improvement of bilateral relations. We call on the new Philippine government to bear in mind the common interests of our two countries and the broader picture of bilateral ties and properly handle relevant issues.