China rejects bid by Philippines to extend its continental shelf in South China Sea

China has rejected a move by the Philippines to seek UN approval to extend its continental shelf in the South China Sea and secure “exclusive” rights to exploit undersea resources, state media reported Monday.

“The Philippines unilaterally submitted a case regarding the delimitation of the outer continental shelf in the South China Sea, infringing upon China's sovereign rights and jurisdiction,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Lin Jian said, according to the Global Times.

“This action violates international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and contravenes relevant provisions of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea,” he added.

Philippine diplomats at the UN submitted information to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf on Friday to “register the country’s entitlement to an extended continental shelf, or ECS, in the West Palawan Region” of the sea, according to the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.

But under the Rules of Procedure of the commission, if the case submitted by the Philippines involves the disputed areas, the commission should not consider or recognize it, Lin said.

Relations between Manila and Beijing have deteriorated due to a longstanding dispute over territory in the South China Sea.

Beijing claims vast maritime territory there under its “nine-dash line” that extends hundreds of miles south and east from its most southerly province of Hainan, which The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration said in 2016 has no legal basis under international law.

However, China has rejected the ruling and has been in negotiations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) since 2002 for a code of conduct for the disputed sea.

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