Shekinah Jedidiah M. Alima

Beijing vowed commitment to solve maritime conflicts through “friendly consultation” on Monday but slammed Group of 7’s (G7) support for the Philippines on the South China Sea dispute a day after. 

Photo Courtesy of  Philippine Bar Association/Global Times/AP

Vice Chairman of the ruling Communist Party’s Military Commission Zhang Youxia expressed willingness to cooperate with other parties for peace talks but warned they are watching out for abuse at a naval forum opening with 29 countries.

“China is consistently committed to resolving maritime disputes through friendly consultation directly with the countries party to them, but we will not permit arbitrary abuses nor accept distortions of international law,” Zhang said.

However, Beijing dismissed G7’s rejection of China's “baseless and expansive” claims in the South China Sea saying it is a “blatant interference in China’s internal affairs.”

“We strongly deplore and firmly reject the manipulation of China-related issues at the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin reiterated today.

G7 composed of Canada, France, the United, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom released an official message calling out China’s “dangerous use” of coast guard and maritime militia threatening a Philippine supply vessel claiming South China Sea.

This was appreciated by the Department of Foreign Affairs last April 21 as it showed commitment to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), an international agreement that sets rules for the world’s oceans and their resources.

China has been consistently asserting their dominance over the South China Sea ignoring the International Permanent Court of Arbitration (IPCA) ruling in 2016.