China said on Wednesday that a request by the Philippines for a U.N. tribunal to intervene in its longstanding South China Sea territorial dispute with China would only complicate the issue, and denounced Manila‘s “illegal occupation” of islands there.
China’s claims over islands, reefs and atolls in resource-rich waters off its south coast and to the east of mainland Southeast Asia set it directly against Vietnam and the Philippines, while Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia also lay claim to parts.
Asked about the Philippines’ move, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said its southern neighbor was occupying some of China’s islands in the South China Sea.
“China has consistently opposed the Philippines’ illegal occupation,” he told…
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