China keeps up criticism of Philippines in White Paper on South China Sea dispute

Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy patrol at Woody Island in the South China Sea.
Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy patrol at Woody Island in the South China Sea.PHOTO: REUTERS

China on Wednesday (July 13) continued to slam the Philippines for initiating international arbitration on their territorial dispute over the South China Sea, while insisting that it was committed to resolving the rows peacefully.

In a White Paper issued by the Cabinet's Information Office, Beijing called Manila’s territorial claims "groundless from the perspectives of either history or international law". It also said their dispute stems from "the Philippines’ invasion and illegal occupation of some islands and reefs of China’s Nansha Qundao [Spratly Islands]".

The tirade came a day after an arbitral panel under the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled in favour of Manila, saying that China's claim to most of the South China Sea had no legal basis.

China has maintained that it does not recognise the authority of the panel nor its ruling. It did not participate in the arbitration process, which was initiated by Manila in 2013.