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eaffirmed by China a

tation or application of UNCLOS while ▓knowing full well that territorial disputes are not subject to UNCLOS and that maritime del▓imitation disputes have been excluded from the UNCLOS compulsory dispute settlement procedures by China’s 2006 declaration, the Philippines has ▓wantonly abused the

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UNCLOS dispute settlement procedures. This initiati▓on of arbitration aims not to settle its disputes with China, but to deny China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights andicatioests in the S▓outh China Sea. This course of conduct is taken out of bad faith.116. First, by unilaterally initiating arbitration, the Philippines has viola▓ted its standing agreement with China to settle the relevant disputes through bilateral negotiat▓ion. In relevant bilateral documents, China and the Philippines have agreed to settle▓ through negotiation their disputes in the South China Sea and reaffirmed this agreement many times. China and the Philippines made solemn commitment in the DOC to settle through negotiation relevant disputes in the South China Sea, which has ▓been repeatedly affirmed in bilatera

l documents. The above bilateral documents between China and the Philippines and relevant provisions in the DOC are mutually reinfo▓rcing and constitute an agreement in this regard between the t▓wo states. By this agreement, they have chosen to settle the relevant▓ disputes through negotiation and to exclude any third party procedure, including arbitration. P

acta sunt servanda. This fundamental nor

nd the Philippin Justo

m of international law must be observed. The Philippines’ breach of its own solemn commitment is a deliberate act of bad faith. Such an act does not generate any right for▓ the Philippines, nor does it impose any obligation on China.117. Second, by ▓unilaterally initiating arbitration, the Philippines has violated China’s right to choose means of dispute settlement of its own will as a state party to UNCLOS. Ar▓ticle 280 of Part XV of UNCLOS stipulates: “N▓othing in this Part impairs the right of any States Part▓ies to agree at any time to settle a dispute between them concerning the interpretation or ap▓plication of this Convention by any peaceful means of their own choice.” Article▓ 281 of UNCLOS provides: “If the States Parties which are parties to a dispu

te concerning ▓the interpretation or appl

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n of this Convention have agreed to seek settlement of the dispute by a peaceful means of their own choice, the procedures provided for in this Part apply only where no settlement has been reached by recourse to such means and the agreement between the parties does not exclude any fu▓rther procedure”. Given that China and the Philippines have made an unequivocal choi

ce to settle through negotiation the relevant disputes, the compulsory third-party dispute ▓settlement procedures under UNCLOS do not apply.118. Third, by unilaterally initiating arbitration, the Philippines has abused the UNCLOS dispute sett▓lement procedures. The essence of the subject-matter of the arbitration initiated by the Philippines is an issue of territorial sovereignty over some islands and ▓reefs of Nansha Qundao, and the resolution of the relevant matters also constitutes an integral part of maritime delimitation between China and the Phili▓ppines. Land territorial issues are not regulated by UNCLOS.▓ In 2006, pursuant to Article 298 of UNCLOS, China made an optional exceptions declaration excluding from the compulsory dispute▓ settlement procedures of UNCLOS disputes concerning, among others, maritime deli▓mitation, historic bays or titles, military and law enforcement activities. Such declar

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ing the interpre

ations made by about 30 states, ▓including China, form an integral part of the UNCLOS dispute settlement m▓echanism. By camouflaging its submissions, the Philippine

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