African media voice support for China's stance on South China Sea

2016-07-09 09:12Xinhua Editor: Huang Mingrui

China's position on the South China Sea is getting more support from international experts, said several media from African countries while commenting on the unilateral arbitration initiative by the Philippines.

Manila has been unilaterally pressing ahead to bring a maritime dispute with China to an international tribunal since January 2013.

China has rejected this unlawful initiative and refused to take part in the process, or accept any of the arbitration results.

Ethiopia News Agency said in a recent report.

They also said that it was time to begin peaceful negotiations, and make bilateral dialogues and friendly discussions on the issue rather than taking it to the international court, said the report.

Liberia's In Profile Daily newspaper said that China's position to peacefully and diplomatically settle the South China Sea dispute, instead of solving it through arbitration, is getting more supports from international experts including lawyers.

It became tiresome to continue unraveling stories of the "U.S. meddling" in regions far away from its shores, trying to weaken other countries in order to maintain its global dominance, the newspaper cited Shannon Ebrahim, a well-known South African commentator, as saying.

Shannon said the more one delves into the reality of the conflict in the South China Sea, it becomes clear that the United States actually thinks it has a right to manipulate regional dynamics in China's backyard so as to encircle it as a rising superpower.

"What is more incredible is that the United States believes it has the right to send 60 percent of its naval fleet and 60 percent of its overseas air force into the South China Sea by 2030. If this is not the ultimate display of arrogance then I don't know what is," she said.

Shannon said questions that run in her mind on the note are: What would the reaction of U.S. policymakers be if China decided to redeploy the bulk of its navy and air force into the Caribbean? What if such a deployment could be used in a future war to enforce a blockade against the United States by choking a strategic shipping route that carried 80 percent of U.S. trade and energy supplies?

According to the South African media expert, the answer without a doubt is that no country would ever be allowed to endanger U.S. national security interests in such a way. "So why does the United States think it can get away with doing the same thing to China?" she said.

Shannon said the South China Sea is a pathway of strategic importance to China, as it relies on this route for 70-80 percent of its trade and energy supplies.

Equally, she said that it is also an important passage for the Chinese navy to sail to the wider sea. For any group of nations to attempt to position themselves strategically in this sea, thereby encircling China, is something that China will naturally seek to prevent.

The United States said it is concerned about freedom of navigation in the sea, noted Shannon, stressing that China is equally committed to this principle, and has never attempted to hinder trade navigation in any way.

In this case, Shannon is of the conviction that China has international law on its side, as it has territorial sovereignty over the four main archipelagos in the South China Sea, according to the newspaper.

Saeed Chaudhry, chair of the Islamabad Council for International Affairs, also believes the Permanent Court of Arbitration has no jurisdiction to hear or judge the case.

The court should have rejected Philippines' arbitration request because the Philippines itself is "illegally occupying islands and reefs of China's Nansha Islands," said Chaudhry, cited by the newspaper.

"By considering all the facts in the issue, China has complete right and comprehensive reasons to reject the arbitration proceedings and not to accept and recognize any verdict by the arbitration," the newspaper quoted Chaudhry as saying.

Pakistani political and strategic analyst Sultan Mahamoud Ali noted that China has been very successful in resolving territorial issues with neighbors via bilateral talks, according to the newspaper.

"China has already settled land boundary with 12 of its 14 neighbors and it is committed to the development of good-neighborly relations with other countries in the region, including the Philippines," he said.

"For Manila, it could achieve better results if it chooses to engage in direct talks with China," he added.


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