The tension between the Philippines and China has continued to rise, and if the Philippines want to gain anything from this situation, they will need significant help from the 9 countries that will help the Philippines against China. For those of you who may not be aware of the details of the situation between these two countries, here’s a brief summary of the events that have led to this situation.
The two countries are in dispute over territory in South China Sea which they both believe it theirs by right. When Japan renounced the territory way back in 1951, China immediately claimed it as its own, with reference to the Ming dynasty. In fact, a year later, China and the US issued a declaration which declared that the land belongs to China.
On the other hand, the Philippines claimed that the territory was theirs, based on the fact that the territory is in proximity to the country itself. The disputes and arguments had persisted for decades, coming to a head in 2013 when the Philippines brought an arbitration case against China in respect of the disputed territory. However, China refused to honor the arbitration case and decided not even to partake in it. Despite China’s refusal, the tribunal ruled that it had the power and the jurisdiction to decide the case, and ruled in favor of the Philippines in respect of 7 of its submissions. The tribunal further ruled that China’s claim to the land had no basis and hence, was not justified.
While the ruling should have cleared the air in normal circumstances, the dispute has still not been resolved in this case as China has completely refused to accept the ruling. Hence, since China is a much more powerful country than the Philippines, there seems to be little the Philippines can do. This is further exemplified by the fact that both the United Nations and the International Court of Justice have refused to take a side in this matter or even voice an opinion.
Thus at the end of the day, it comes down to the support of individual countries. Due to China’s power, more countries support either China’s stance or at the very least, support bilateral talks. Most of these countries belong to the continent of Africa, which is not surprising considering China has pledged billions in aid to those countries. On the other hand, some major countries have also announced their support for the arbitration ruling and the stance taken by the Philippines, which include some of the 10 Most Powerful Countries in the World: Military.
Let’s take a look at the 9 countries that will help the Philippines against China, starting with number 10.
Vietnam has a personal interest in the arbitration, as it believes it has an interest in the disputed territory as well. It has publicly announced that it disagrees with China’s claims regarding the disputed territory. This has led to China claiming that its neighbors are now being unlawful. Further, Vietnam itself submitted its stance relating to the disputed territory. This may be part of the reason the arbitration court decided against China. Of course, this may be considered a moot point since China has refused to accept the ruling.