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Interview: Cambodian scholars back China's position on South China Sea

Editor: Zhang Jianfeng 丨Xinhua

12-09-2014 20:43 BJT

PHNOM PENH, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian experts have expressed their support to China for its position paper on the matter of jurisdiction in the South China Sea arbitration initiated by the Philippines.

The Position Paper, issued by the Chinese government on Sunday, reiterated its firm stance that it will neither accept nor participate in the Arbitral Tribunal that was unilaterally initiated by the Philippines on Jan. 22, 2013 over the relevant issues between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea.

It said the Arbitral Tribunal does not have jurisdiction over this case.

Chheang Vun, Chairman of the Cambodian National Assembly's Commission on Foreign Affairs, voiced his support to China for its firm position on the issues of the South China Sea.

"In my opinion, it is good if China and the Philippines can directly negotiate with each other on their sea dispute," he told Xinhua in a recent interview.

"Outsiders should not interfere in the case in order to prevent the dispute from widening."

He said he fully supported China for its firm resolution to settle all sea disputes bilaterally and peacefully.

"It is essential that all concerned parties sit down to resolve their differences bilaterally and peacefully based on the existing mechanisms, including the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in 2002, the Code of Conduct (COC), and other international sea laws," he said.

"Moreover, all concerned parties should maintain a special mutual understanding and willingness."

Chap Sotharith, chief researcher at the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, also lent his support to the Position Paper, particularly with regards to the Philippines.

"From my point of view, the settlement of disputes through bilateral means is a good and effective choice," he told Xinhua, adding that the Philippines' attempts to bring the dispute to the Arbitral Tribunal would create more distrust between the two countries.

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