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China is winning more support over the South China Sea issue

Editor: Zhang Pengfei 丨People's Daily Online

05-27-2016 10:55 BJT

Full coverage: South China Sea Is Indisputable Part of China

Recently, more and more countries and organizations have been voicing support for China on the South China Sea issue.

In a statement released on Tuesday, members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) stressed that the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and other international laws should be basic principles when addressing the South China Sea issue.

All disputes should be addressed through negotiation and consultation, without intervention from the outside, the statement said, calling on relevant parties to abide by and implement the Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).

Secretary General Rashid Alimov of the SCO also issued a separate statement, supporting China's stance on the issue and backing up China’s efforts to safeguard the peace and stability of the region. The support of SCO, which was not solicited by China, supports the idea that facts and justice will eventually prevail.

With regards to the South China Sea issue, justice should be reflected in the following areas. First, the legitimate rights and interests of each country should be respected. China has established its sovereignty and maritime rights in the South China Sea over the course of history. It makes little sense that, all of a sudden, China has to seek approval from other countries to obtain legitimacy.

As early as 2006, the Chinese government, under Article 298 of UNCLOS, made a statement of optional exception on issues related to maritime demarcation, historic titles, military and law enforcement. China’s decision to opt out of the one-sided arbitration petitioned for by the Philippines therefore fully conforms to international law.

Moreover, national rights and interests are not determined by the size of a country. Western media has slandered China as a bully, but this accusation ignores China's legitimate rights and interests. Unilaterally requested arbitration, such as that by the Philippines, is a breach of contract and does nothing to help solve the dispute.

Major powers are responsible for playing a positive role in safeguarding international peace. By interfering in the South China Sea, the U.S. is attempting to dominate maritime order and expand its influence in the Asia-Pacific. The country is gambling on regional stability for its own gains. China, on the contrary, is doing its best to preserve regional peace and stability, and also consider the perspectives of each involved party.

China's supporters have seen China's good will, recognized China’s policies and choices, and supported China’s efforts to safeguard its rights and interests, as well as stability in the region. China has repeatedly called for the Philippines to correct its mistakes and for the U.S. to join with Asian nations in promoting regional peace. The Philippines and the U.S. should change their stance soon if they truly want a peaceful South China Sea.

By Hua Yisheng

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