Doha Declaration comes right on time

By Wang Jin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, May 17, 2016
Adjust font size:

The China-Arab States Cooperation Forum has approved of the Doha Declaration at its seventh ministerial meeting held in Doha, Qatar.

In the declaration, Arab countries voiced their support for China's stance on the South China Sea issue, saying that they appreciate China's efforts to resolve territorial and maritime disputes with neighboring countries through dialogue and negotiation. Arab leaders also agreed that the signatories of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea should have the right to choose their own approach to resolving the situation.

The Doha Declaration reflects a huge achievement for Chinese diplomacy. Also, given that Arab nations tend to seek a unified position on major diplomatic issues, China's stance is being understood and supported by more and more countries.

An important international organization, the Arab League consists of 22 member states, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt – traditional allies of the United States – as well as the UAE, Qatar, Algeria, Libya and Yemen.

Prior to the Arab League, China's stance on the South China Sea has been publically supported by a number of countries, including Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Russia, India, Poland, Belarus, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as smaller states such as Gambia and Fiji.

China rejected a UN arbitration panel's deliberations on a territorial dispute with the Philippines in the South China Sea. But the Chinese government has been consistent on its stance that the Chinese side will not accept the results of the arbitration panel, whether it's for or against China.

Through international arbitration, the Philippines wished to be granted the ownership of the reef islands it has been illegally occupying, hoping that arbitration would help them find a legal foundation.

But, in fact, China’s stand is that territorial disputes are not in the jurisdiction of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, and as for maritime delimitation, China announced its disclaimer in line with the convention as early as 2006.

However intricate the Philippines' appeal may have appeared, it is in fact a dispute over territory and maritime delimitation. Therefore, China's position on such an arbitration case is reasonable and legitimate.

This is why the Doha Declaration jointly issued by the Arab League and China is a timely statement. It shows that the international society supports China's stance on the South China Sea as well as its approach to settling disputes.

Wang Jin is a doctorate student of international relations with the School of Political Sciences at the University of Haifa.

The article was translated by Chen Boyuan. Its unabridged version was published in Chinese.

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors, not necessarily those of

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from