Thu, 06 Aug 2020

New Delhi [India], July 31 (ANI): Hours after Australia's High Commissioner to India Barry O'Farrell expressed hope that Beijing will follow the 2016 South China Sea Arbitral Award, Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong said that it violated the principle of state consent, is "illegal, null and void and has no binding force".

This was Sun's second tweet in a day to remarks by O'Farrell who had in an interview to ANI on Friday said that said Australia is deeply concerned about destabilising actions in the South China Sea and lodged a note with UN Secretary-General last week refusing China's unlawful maritime.

Sun said China does not accept or recognise 2016 South China Sea Arbitral Award.

"So-called arbitral tribunal of SouthChinaSea violated the principle of state consent. The award is illegal, nullvoidhas no binding force. China neither accepts nor recognizes it. We hope those non-claimant countries could contribute to regional peacestability rather than the contrary," Sun said in his tweet.

Earlier, Sun had claimed that remarks by O'Farrell on South China Sea disregard facts.

"Noted remarks by Australian HC to India on SouthChinaSea disregarding facts. China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests are in conformity w/ int'l law incl UNCLOS. It's clear who safeguard peace and stability and who destablize and provoke escalation in the region," he said.

After Sun's tweet in which he said China's maritime rights conform to international law and are in conformity with UNCLOS , O'Farrell hoped that China will then follow the 2016 South China Sea Arbitral Award which is final and binding under international law.

He also hoped that China will generally refrain from actions that unilaterally alter the status quo.

"Thank you @China_Amb_India. I would hope then you follow the 2016 South China Sea Arbitral Award which is final and binding under international law, and also generally refrain from actions that unilaterally alter the status quo," O'Farell said in his tweet.

The exchange of words between the two diplomats came days after the Australian government has rejected any claims by China that are not consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

O'Farell had said in an exclusive interview to ANI that Australia is deeply concerned about destabilising actions in the South China Sea and lodged a note with UN Secretary-General last week refusing China's unlawful maritime.

"Following a 2016 tribunal, which ruled against China's claims, Australia rejects China's claims to historic rights and internal waters," he added.

O'Farell had also said that Australia supports continued moves by India for de-escalation in the border areas in Eastern Ladakh.

"Australia urges restrain at LAC and supports continued moves by India for de-escalation. In my meeting with EAM today, I told him Australia opposes any attempts to unilaterally alter status-quo which only increase tension and instability," he said.

"It is important that bilaterally agreed principles and norms, which help prevent escalation, continue to be observed," he added. (ANI)

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