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Many countries, world organizations question ruling on South China Sea

Editor: Chen Yue 丨Xinhua

07-14-2016 21:37 BJT

Full coverage: The South China Sea Issue

BEIJING, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Many countries and world organizations have expressed support for China's position on the South China Sea and called for solving relevant disputes though dialogue and negotiations.

On Tuesday, the arbitral tribunal issued an award over a case unilaterally initiated by the former Philippine government, denying China's long-standing historical rights over the South China Sea.

China had from the very beginning refused to participate in the proceedings, insisting that the tribunal has no jurisdiction over the case, which is in essence related to territorial sovereignty and maritime delimitation.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said China will not accept any proposition or action based on the award, and that China's territorial sovereignty and maritime interests in the South China Sea will under no circumstances be affected by it.

"Negotiation must start immediately. And the arbitral ruling is both useless and irrelevant," said Butch Valdes, former undersecretary of Philippine Department of Education.

Valdes said former Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III led the country in the wrong direction. He said most Philippine people don't want to enter conflicts with China.

Although the arbitral tribunal has announced its so-called final award, the decision won't have any serious consequences, Croatia's former President Stjepan Mesic told Xinhua on Wednesday.

"Only when both countries agree to appear before an international tribunal can the ruling be acceptable," he added.

In an e-mail to Xinhua on Wednesday, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic expressed the belief that the best solution is one to which both sides agree.

The Sudanese parliament on Wednesday declared its support for China's call to resolve the South China Sea dispute through dialogue.

"Sudan's Parliament stands with justice and right, and we encourage dialogue as a means for resolving international issues," Mohamed Mustafa Al-Daw, head of the external relations committee in the Sudanese parliament, told Xinhua.

Ashfaqur Rahman, former Bangladeshi ambassador to China, found it very funny to see the work of the tribunal. "What the tribunal has done can never be called an arbitration," he said.

"Arbitration is a process in which both the disputed parties agree to argue their cases and agree to accept a verdict whatever it is," he explained. In this case, "we all know that China was not a party. It did not take part in the process. So how can it be called an arbitration?"

The award of the South China Sea arbitration solves nothing and the dispute between the Philippines and China can only be solved through bilateral dialogue, Nirj Deva, vice chairman of the European Parliament's Development Committee and chairman of the EU-China Friendship Group in the European Parliament said Tuesday.

The lawmaker said Aquino III made "a wrong decision" to have started the arbitration. It broke the country's own commitment made in the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).

Deva praised China for abiding by its international commitments.

"On the whole, if you look at China' s history, China has been a very good obeyer of international laws and has kept to all international treaties that it has signed," he said.

The Serbian foreign ministry said in a press release late Tuesday that the country supports interested parties in the South China Sea to have a dialogue.

"Directly interested parties should settle peacefully the dispute in the South China Sea," ministry stated.

"The full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea should by all means be stressed," said the government of Thailand in a statement on Tuesday.

Thailand believes that the ultimate goal should be to render the South China Sea a sea of peace, stability and sustainable development, it said.

UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric on Tuesday said UN chief Ban Ki-moon has consistently called on all parties to resolve their dispute in a peaceful and amicable way through dialogue.

"I think while the dialogue continues, it's important for states to exercise restraint on the conduct and contentious activities in the South China Sea," he said.

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