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Wang Yi: Interference by Countries Outside the Region Has Constituted the Biggest Threat to Peace and Stability in the South China Sea

On the evening of August 6, 2021, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi reiterated the stance of China on the South China Sea while attending the Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the 28th ASEAN Regional Forum.

Wang Yi said, the situation in the South China Sea is generally stable, and the freedom of navigation and overflight is protected by law, a result attributable to the joint efforts of China and ASEAN countries and which cannot be played down or denied. China is willing to reach an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) that conforms with the international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, with ASEAN countries on the basis of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea at an early date, so as to jointly turn the South China Sea into the sea of peace and cooperation. The so-called arbitral tribunal of the South China Sea violates the basic principle of "state consent", and was heard ultra vires, having obvious problems in the determination of facts and application of law. China has never participated in it, and will certainly reject the award. The interference by countries outside the region has constituted the biggest threat to peace and stability in the South China Sea over recent years. The so-called "not making a distinction between countries in and outside the region" disregards the justified and legitimate rights and interests of coastal states of the South China Sea. And the abuse of "freedom of navigation" should be resisted by countries in the region because it is a bigger provocation to the sovereignty and jurisdiction of coastal states of the South China Sea.

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