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China today released a white paper against the verdict by a UN-backed tribunal that struck down its "historical rights" in the South China Sea, insisting that Beijing has claims over the strategic region for 2,000 years.
In a major diplomatic blow to China, the Permanent Court of Arbitration struck down the Communist giant's claims in the strategic South China Sea yesterday.
The Hague-based court has said that China violated the Philippines' sovereign rights. It said China has caused "severe harm to the coral reef environment" by building artificial islands.
The white paper asserts that China has claims over the South China Sea for 2,000 years and the Philippines, which had filed the petition, was occupying Chinese territory.
The core of the relevant disputes between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea lies in the territorial issues caused by the Philippines' invasion and illegal occupation by force, starting in the 1970s, of some islands and reefs of China's Nansha Qundao (the Nansha Islands), it said.
The Philippines has concocted many excuses to cover up this fact, and to pursue its territorial pretencions," said the document, titled "China Adheres to the Position of Settling Through Negotiation the Relevant Disputes Between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea." The Philippines' relevant claim is groundless from the perspectives of either history or international law, said the white paper issued by the State Council Information Office.
In addition, with the development of the international law of the sea, a maritime delimitation dispute also arose between China and the Philippines regarding certain maritime areas of the South China Sea, the paper said. 
The white paper attacked the Philippines saying that Manila turned a blind eye to bilateral consensus, has repeatedly taken moves that complicate the relevant disputes, gradually intensified them between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea.
The Philippines built military facilities on some islands and reefs of China's Nansha Qundao (the Nansha Islands/Spratly islands) it has invaded and illegally occupied.The Philippines deliberately destroyed survey markers set up by China and attempted to illegally occupy China's Ren'ai Jiao by using a military vessel illegally run around it.
The Philippines also has territorial pretencions on China's Huangyan Dao and attempted to occupy it illegally, deliberately causing the Huangyan Dao Incident, it said. The Philippines has intruded into relevant maritime areas of China's Nansha Qundao to carry out illegal oil and gas exploratory drilling and bidding.
The Philippines has repeatedly harassed and attacked Chinese fishermen and fishing boats conducting routine fishing operations, according to the white paper. In January 2013, the then government of the Republic of the Philippines unilaterally initiated the South China Sea arbitration.

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Todays Epaper

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