The contest for international support on the South China Sea disputes

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With the final award of the Arbitral Tribunal on the maritime disputes in the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea (SCS/WPS) expected in the coming months, there has been a noticeable increase in activities not only on the ground, but also in the diplomatic circles. These developments provide some clues on how the arbitration case and the SCS/WPS disputes currently stand in the regional and even global discourse.

The Philippines’ advocacy for a rules-based approach in addressing maritime disputes in the SCS/WPS received an additional boost following the G-7 Foreign Ministers Meeting held in Hiroshima, Japan in April 2016. The foreign ministers of 7 major developed countries – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States – affirmed the need to “fully implement any decisions rendered by the relevant courts and tribunals which are binding on them, including as provided under UNCLOS.” This adds to the several statements by leaders and high officials of these countries supporting the arbitration process initiated by the Philippines, as documented by the Foreign Service Institute.

http://www.rappler.com/world/specials/134981-cirss-contest-international-support-south-china-sea-disputes

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