Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told a Washington think tank Thursday that the decision by Philippine leaders to lodge a case with a tribunal in The Hague was “irresponsible to the Filipino people and the future of the Philippines.”
China has refused to participate in the proceedings. A ruling is expected this year.
Wang accused the Philippines, a U.S. ally, of shutting the door to negotiations over their dispute, and said China was prepared to negotiate “tomorrow.”
Wang defended China’s military facilities on islands and reefs in the South China Sea, saying they were for self-defense, because other nations have already done the same on surrounding shores.