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BANGKOK, May 20 (Xinhua) -- A scholar told a seminar here on Thursday that China refused to join the South China Sea arbitration because the tribunal has no jurisdiction over the case and the coming ruling cannot solve the current disputes in the South China Sea.

Hong Nong, director of the Research Center for Oceans Law and Policy under the Chinese National Institute for South China Sea Studies(NISCSS), summarized those reasons in three points.

The first reason, as she said, is that China questions whether the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) has the jurisdiction over the case, which was initiated by the Philippines over maritime disputes under United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in 2013.

The Philippines required the arbitration tribunal to decide the status of certain maritime features in the South China Sea, the actual purpose of which is to call for decision over sovereignty and maritime delimitation, said Hong, adding that the case therefore is excluded from the tribunal's jurisdiction.

After ratified the UNCLOS in 1996, China has made exclusion declarations in 2006, which says China does not accept any of the compulsory dispute settlement procedures regarding sovereignty, maritime delimitation and so on.

Instead of lodging a lawsuit, the Philippines should work with China to solve the problem by bilateral approach, according to Article 4 of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), Hong mentioned, adding that the Philippines has never talked with China about subjects that are submitted for arbitration, such as status of certain maritime features.

The second reason given by Hong is that China and ASEAN have their own way of solving problems, either through negotiation or consultation.

The third reason, Hong said, is that the coming ruling of the case, no matter what it turns out to be, will not solve the disputes in the region.

She also elaborated about some misunderstandings about China at the seminar.

"A lot of people are telling China to act accordingly with the international law, I think this presumption is due to lack of knowledge of Chinese practices of international law," said Hong, adding that China has ratified many international conventions.

She also criticized the presumption that China is against a third party compulsory disputes resolution, saying it is not the best option to solve the disputes in the South China Sea.

She urged relevant countries to "have a second thought" about what is the practical way to solve the disputes.

Another panelist at the seminar has his own answer.

"The only way going forward is to joint development on natural resources in the disputed area," said Wu Shicun, president of NISCSS.

In his opinion, the South China Sea issue is complicated and sensitive, thus it is impossible to be solved in a single procedure.

Wu also mentioned the "Double-track approach", which means disputes should be resolved peacefully through negotiation between parties directly concerned, and China and ASEAN countries should work together to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.

China and ASEAN members identified the approach for dealing with the South China Sea issue in late 2014, and China has advocated it as a practical and feasible way to solve the issue.

"No matter what the future situation is, China will work with ASEAN to seek peace, stability and friendship," Wu emphasized at the end of his speech.

The two scholars and their NISCSS are invited by Saranrom Institute of Foreign Affairs Foundation of Thailand to jointly hold this seminar.

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