Pakistan supports China's position on the South China Sea issue and maintains that the dispute should be peacefully resolved through consultations and negotiations by countries directly concerned, a Pakistani official said on Wednesday.
Nafees Zakaria, a spokesperson for the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs, made the remarks after a tribunal in the Hague ruled in favor of most of the Philippines' claims against China over the South China Sea issue on Tuesday.
China rejects the verdict, stressing that the tribunal has no jurisdiction because the case is in essence related to territorial sovereignty and maritime delimitation.
"Pakistan opposes any unilateral imposition of decisions on others. We respect China's statement of optional exception in the light of the Article 298 of the UN clause," said Zakaria, referring to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Pakistan believes that maintenance of peace and security is the collective responsibility of all parties to the South China Sea, he said. Countries outside the region should fully respect the efforts made by China and member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea, and play a constructive role to this end, said the spokesman.
"Pakistan maintains that the resolution of the dispute related to the South China Sea is between the countries concerned, and the countries outside this region should respect the negotiations or the process through which the parties concerned want to resolve this issue," said Zakaria.