South China Sea Dispute: 60 Countries Now Support China’s Claim On Contested Region
In the dispute against certain territories along the South China Sea, China says it is now winning more support than ever before. In fact, it supposedly now has 60 countries that are voicing their agreement that China has every right to lay claim on as much as 90 percent of the strategic sea route.Advertisement
In the recent months, there have been a number of countries said to have been voicing their support for China as it continues to set up its own facilities on a number of islands that remain to be a subject of territorial dispute today. Reports have also surfaced that the Chinese are looking to establish an ADIZ or Air Defense Identification Zone that may possibly require any aircraft within 300 miles from China’s territory to identify themselves. Whether China would push through with these plans remains unclear.
During a recent press conference with the Chinese Foreign Ministry, it was pointed out that countries Sierra Leone and Kenya have now voiced out support for China’s position in the South China Sea issue.
In response, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said, “After knowing the merits and demerits of the relevant issue, many countries including Sierra Leone and Kenya you just mentioned and tens of countries as we told you before make their voices heard to uphold justice. We commend and appreciate their support.” Moreover, he says that having 60 countries now supporting China’s stance “speaks volumes.”
China’s stance on the territorial disputes have been made very clear recently. For one thing, it believes the ruling of the arbitration court done at The Hague is “null and void.” According to them, the Arbitrary Tribunal went “beyond the authorization of the UNCLOS” by claiming jurisdiction over the issue of territorial sovereignty.
Interestingly, the number of countries supporting China on the South China Sea issue was only at 40 prior to the recent press conference. How the number grew to 60 remains unclear.