By: Elena Grace Flores
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei prior to the ruuling at the Hague that African countries have publicly supported China’s position.He mentioned the as; “the government of the Central African Republic, Madagascar, Guinea-Bissau, Zimbabwe, Angola, and Liberia” – bringing the count of their supporters to more than 30 African countries which they appreciated very much.
The additional countries mentioned by Hong have not been reflected in the AMTI’s database 3 days before the ruling. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands, announced their defeat last July 12 against the Philippines that lodged the petition. Gambia, for one,has no jurisdiction in pronouncing a verdict on maritime boundaries in the South China Sea.” So obviously, Gambia is just mimicking China’s strongest argument: that the tribunal in The Hague has no right to rule on the Philippines’ case – which the tribunal rejected last October 2015, and now awarded the initial victory in the arbitral proceedings to the Philippines.
Kenya, on the other hand, said that “disputes over the South China Sea should be peacefully resolved through consultations and negotiations in accordance with bilateral agreements and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.” Ultimately again, this has been said by their other supporter, Lesotho. These somewhat dictated or copied declarations of support to China are obviously just a payback to the aids provided by China to these unfortunate countries and do not reflect their own understanding of the situation.