Jakarta: The Chinese Foreign Ministry has said that the US Secretary of State's statement on China's claims in the South China Seabreaks the US government's public commitment of not taking a position on the issue.
"It violates and distorts international law, deliberately stokes territorial and maritime disputes, and undermines regional peace and stability," the ministry said in a media release on Thursday.
According to the ministry, China never seeks to build a "maritime empire" in the South China Sea. It also treats its South China Sea neighbors as equals and exercises maximum restraint when safeguarding our sovereignty, rights and interests in the South China Sea.
With regard to the South China Sea arbitration, the ministry stressed that the Arbitral Tribunal violated the principle of state consent. The ministry also argued that the Arbitral Tribunal exercised its jurisdiction ultra vires.
"The US, on the contrary, refuses to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), cannot stop itself from withdrawing from one international treaty and organization after another, and only chooses to comply with international law when the occasion serves its own interests," it stated.
"Its power politics logic and bullying behaviors demonstrate that the US is the real destroyer and trouble-maker upsetting peace and stability in the region," it stated.
Previously, Pompeo said China has no legal grounds to unilaterally impose its will in the South China Sea. He explained Beijing has offered no coherent legal basis for its “Nine-Dashed Line” claim in the South China Sea since formally announcing it. He added an Arbitral Tribunal constituted under the UNCLOS – to which China is a state party – rejected China’s maritime claims as having no basis in international law few years ago.