News ID: 154542
Published: 0832 GMT July 07, 2016

China warns US over sovereignty infringement ahead of territorial dispute ruling

China warns US over sovereignty infringement ahead of territorial dispute ruling

China has warned the US over infringing on its sovereignty ahead of an international court ruling on Beijing’s South China Sea claims.

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi issued the warning during a phone conversation with US Secretary of State John Kerry, according to  Xinhua news.

Wang reiterated China’s rejection of the jurisdiction of the International Court of Arbitration in The Hague concerning a case initiated by the Philippines against China’s claims to the majority of the South China Sea.

According to the Chinese news agency, Wang “urged the United States to honor its commitment to not to take sides on issues related to sovereign disputes, to be prudent with its actions and words, and not to take any actions that infringe upon the sovereignty and security interests of China.”

He also stressed that regardless of the outcome of the court ruling, his country would “firmly safeguard its own territorial sovereignty and legitimate maritime rights and firmly safeguard the peace and stability.”

The court is due to announce the ruling on the dispute on July 12.

China claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea, which is also claimed in part by Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. The waters are believed to sit atop vast reserves of oil and gas.

The dispute has at times drawn in trans-regional countries, particularly the US.

Recently, the US has increased its presence in the Asia-Pacific region through its so-called pivot strategy, which critics denounce as a provocative policy.

Beijing accuses Washington of meddling in regional issues and deliberately stirring up tensions in the South China Sea.

The US, in turn, accuses China of carrying out what it calls a land reclamation program in the South China Sea by building artificial islands in the disputed areas.

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