BEIJING (Reuters) – China and Vietnam have clashed again over competing claims in the South China Sea, after Vietnam submitted its position to an arbitration tribunal initiated by the Philippines over the festering dispute that involves several countries.
China has said repeatedly it will not participate in the case at the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, branding it an underhand attempt to exert political pressure over territory which is inherently Chinese.
China’s foreign ministry, in a statement released late on Thursday, called on Vietnam to respect China’s sovereignty, which it said had historical basis.
China will not change its position of not taking part in the arbitration, the ministry said.
Vietnam’s foreign ministry said it had submitted its point of view to the court to ensure it pays attention to “our legal rights and interests”.
Vietnam has historical proof and the legal basis to support its claims, and rejects China’s “unilateral” claims, it added.