BEIJING, July 15 (Xinhua) -- World leaders, experts and foreign media have questioned the legitimacy of an arbitral tribunal's award over the South China Sea case and voiced their support for China's position on the issue.
The Hague-based tribunal denied China's long-standing historic rights in the South China Sea in an arbitration unilaterally initiated by the former Philippine government.
ARBITRAL TRIBUNAL ILLEGAL
Former Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor on Wednesday said arbitration is a reasonable solution to ending a dispute only if both parties agree to be a part of it.
"There is no international institution that may voluntarily impose attitude or decision if all the countries involved do not agree that this institution has the right to resolve the issue," she added.
Peter Li, a political science professor with tenure at the University of Houston, said "although the tribunal claimed that it made no attempt to rule on any question of sovereignty over land territory or to delimit any boundary between the concerned parties, the tribunal has in fact been used to support the Philippines' territorial claim in the South China Sea."
"The use of the panel for supporting one country's territorial claims has therefore created a questionable and bad precedent," he said.
Anatoly Smirnov, president of the Russian National Institute for Research of Global Security, said "the tribunal's decision can be legitimate only if it is recognized by both parties to the conflict. In this case, China has said it will not recognize the award from the very beginning."
Venezuelan analysts believed that covert interests of the United States were behind the arbitration case.
"In recent years, the United States has launched an assault against China, especially by stoking historical disputes it has had with other countries in the region," said Basem Tajeldine, a Venezuelan expert on international relations.
Dorian Ducka, an energy strategist and former deputy minister of Energy and Industry of Albania, said the award of the arbitral tribunal has shown itself to be a strongly biased body.
PEACEFUL AND BILATERAL NEGOTIATION
Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith said that Laos supports China's stance on the South China Sea arbitration case, and that his country stands ready to work with China to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea region.
Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen on Friday said his country supports settlement of disputes in the South China Sea through dialogue and consultation between countries directly concerned.
Jan Hamacek, chairman of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, said on Thursday that the South China Sea dispute should be resolved peacefully via negotiation.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday that the South China Sea disputes should be settled through consultations.
"We believe that the involved parties must hold relevant consultations and negotiations in the format determined by themselves," Zakharova said.
"We support efforts of China and member states of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) towards working out a code of conduct in the South China Sea," she added.
Foreign ministers of African countries also emphasized the importance of direct negotiation and consulation, saying that unilateral action does not help solve the disputes.
"We believe direct negotiations between relevant countries is the best solution to the current disputes in the South China Sea," said Erastus Mwencha, vice president of the African Union Commission.