Philippines rejects China conditions for sea row talks

Vessels from China's South Sea Fleet take part in a drill in the Xisha Islands -- or Paracel Islands -- in the South China Sea on May 5, 2016Manila has rejected Beijing’s demand that it “disregard” an international ruling that invalidated the Asian giant’s claims to much of the South China Sea before negotiating on the issue, the Philippines’ foreign secretary said Tuesday. China last week denounced a UN-backed tribunal’s finding that there was no legal basis for its claims to most of the strategic, resource-rich waters, provoking stern warnings from leaders from Japan to the EU that it must respect the rule-based global order. Following the decision, Beijing asked Manila, which brought the case, “to open ourselves for bilateral negotiations but outside of and in disregard of the arbitral ruling”, foreign minister Perfecto Yasay told broadcaster ABS-CBN.

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