The statement was released following the United Nations-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)’s announcement that on July 12, it will rule on a case filed by the Philippines to challenge China's claims to most of the waters.
When asked about the announcement, Anna Richey-Allen, a State Department spokeswoman, said the US and its policy endorse the peaceful resolution, including the use of international legal mechanisms such as the PCA.
The PCA began the hearing of the case on November 24, 2015, with Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam allowed to attend as observers.
Earlier, after reviewing the claims submitted by the Philippines, the tribunal rejected the argument by China that the dispute was beyond its jurisdiction.
The PCA said the case reflected the argument between the two countries concerning the interpretation and enforcement of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and that was within the PCA’s scope.