Csis – AMTI Brief, Aug. 24, 2016

Shifting Sands:
What Countries Are Taking Sides After the South China Sea Ruling?

On July 12, a tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague issued its long-awaited ruling on Manila’s case against Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea. How many countries recognize the decision as legally binding on both parties and call for it to be respected will determine its ultimate value, as international pressure is the court’s only enforcement mechanism. In recent months, AMTI scoured publicly available, official statements in an effort to determine the real positions taken by countries toward the ruling. It is enlightening to compare the level of global support expressed since the July 12 ruling to the positions of countries in the months leading up to the verdict. A full list of official statements, both pre- and post-ruling, is available at the bottom of this feature.

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