Around 1,000 Chinese protesters from across Britain gathered here Saturday to take part in a mass demonstration to protest against the ill-founded award issued recently by an ad hoc tribunal concerning the South China Sea.
People of Chinese origin from all walks of life in Britain and from more than 50 communities came to the Chinatown in central London at around 2 p.m.(1300 GMT).
They marched through one of the city's busiest streets, Regent Street, to the embassies of the Philippines and the United States, holding banners saying "Arbitration Illegal Illegitimate Invalid," "Say No to Arbitration,""Settle Disputes in Genuine Bilateral Negotiation" and "Defend Our Sea Border, No More U.S. Interference.".
The arbitral tribunal with The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration as its secretariat issued the award on July 12, sweepingly sided with the Philippines and denying China's long-standing historic rights in the South China Sea.
Chairman of the London Chinatown Chinese Association (LCCA) Chu Ting Tang noted in his speech that the arbitration case won the tacit support of the United States and Japan.
The government of former Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III unilaterally initiated the arbitration against China in 2013, despite the agreement his country had reached with China on resolving their disputes in the South China Sea through bilateral negotiations.
Tang said a fair and valid arbitration process should be agreed on by both sides before it proceeds, adding that China was absent in this process.
The Philippines' unilateral move runs counter to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and runs against the general practice that arbitration shall be premised on state consent.
"We fully supported the action of the Chinese government in refusing to accept the ruling," he added.
He said the demonstration, initiated by his center on Thursday, had gained speedy and strong support from the Chinese communities and individuals in Britain.
"The South China Sea is part of China, and we cannot accept the arbitration. Thus, we are standing up to tell the people in Britain and the world, the overseas Chinese are also concerned about the South China Sea," said Peter Lam, global managing director of the Royal China Group.