One of the most sought out and prominent global issues currently, ‘The
South China Sea Disputes’ involve both
island and maritime claims among several sovereign states within the region,
namely Brunei, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the Republic of China
(ROC), Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
The South China Sea accounts for five trillions of dollars of global
trade flow annually through waters deep with oil, natural gas, hydrocarbon and
fish stocks. Although largely uninhabited, the Paracels and the Spratlys may
have reserves of natural resources around them.
The sea is also a major shipping route and home to fishing grounds that
supply the livelihoods of people across the region.
A verdict issued on 12 July 2016 by a Tribunal set up under the United
Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS) has ruled that there was no
evidence that China had exercised exclusive control over the waters and
resources of the South China Sea (SCS), and therefore had no legal basis to
claim historic rights to sea areas within the so-called ‘Nine-Dash Line’.
Second, it noted that while small groups of fishermen had used the rocky
outcrops of the sea, collectively called the Spratly Islands, none of them were
capable of sustaining a stable community and thus could not claim an exclusive
economic zone (EEZ). Third, that some of the areas were in fact within the
Philippines EEZ and China had violated their rights by interfering with
Filipino fishermen and oil exploration teams. Fourth, that Beijing’s artificial
island programme had violated UNCLOS obligations on protecting the environment.
In the last 10 years, Iraq has undergone a dramatic, rapid, and
positive transformation and is making progress after decades of war and instability
inflicted by Saddam Hussein. Today, the Republic of Iraq is restoring its
natural role as a critical global partner and a stabilizing force in the Middle
East. Iraq’s economy is dominated by the oil sector, which has provided about
95% of foreign exchange earnings in modern times. Since the country survives on Oil
exports, all its policies revolves around the trade of oil. The South China Sea
is one of the world’s major trade route through which Iraq exports its oil. Naval tensions in those waters will
disrupt the trade and hence will adversely affect the oil exporter countries
like Iraq. All those warships floating out there are trade repulsion magnet. If
those warships prevail there, then trade will die in that route and so will
Iraq has always stood by its principles of foreign policy which
includes restoring international diplomatic bilateral relations and re-engaging
the international community in Iraq’s reconstruction and development;
reconstructing the economy and infrastructure to raise the standard of living
of the Iraqi people. Where Iraq stands in the ‘South China Sea Disputes’ is
already clear by the fact that it had publicly made a statement to support
China through the Republic of Iraq Doha
Declaration-05/12/2016. Though the odds and major European power nations and
the USA are against China, Iraq remains
adamant in support of its ally.
To understand the stance of Iraq we have to look back no
further than the recent history of Iraq’s and China’s relations. China had strongly
opposed the 2003 Iraq War and along with France, Germany and Russia had
strongly condemned the invasion and occupation and had called for a withdrawal
of all forces from the country. All four countries united against the United
States and the United Kingdom and had refused to contribute any troops to Iraq
unless there was a United Nations mandate. Despite the opposition to the U.S.
invasion and occupation of the country China emerged as one of the biggest
winners of Iraq’s oil contracts. In 2013 China bought nearly half of Iraqi oil
production, nearly 1.5 million barrels a day. Although an ally of China, Iraq
still believes in finding a rational solution to the South China Sea Disputes
in accordance with the International Laws. It believes that the claimants and
other countries involved should seek out a diplomatic approach to the problems
which in turn benefits all.
The only viable way to deal with the intractable territorial
sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea is to set aside the disputes and
jointly develop the resources. A lot
of the newspaper lots of observer said that the Chinese is assertive, which is
not correct. China has the best reason to claim, yet is most refrained, the
strong presence of China in this water is the solution to end the disputes.
Because China ( Then ROC) claimed it first in 1947, they
have good reason to own these features.
Vietnam only came later and took most of the islands.
China returned back and only took control of some low
The island building is reasonable, and does not breach the
international law, those reefs and shoals is within Chinese EEZ, all within 200
miles from Taiping island, or Itu Aba, which in the biggest island in Sprately,
controlled by Taiwan, So even built on the Mischief low tide elevations is legal.