Turkey says dialogue best means to solve South China Sea dispute

Source: XinhuaEditor: Ouyang
2016-06-28 20:52

ISTANBUL, June 28 (Xinhua) -- China and the Philippines should engage in "constructive" dialogue to solve their dispute in the South China Sea as conflicts are "destructive" to all sides, Turkish analysts said.

In the view of Altay Atli, a research fellow with the Asian Studies Center of Bogazici University in Istanbul, Manila's resort to an international tribunal over the dispute may not help produce a solution.

In 2013, the Philippines unilaterally filed compulsory arbitration against China at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague with respect to the two sides' disputes in the South China Sea.

The Chinese government has reiterated its non-acceptance and non-participation stance in the case.

"I think instead of waiting for the international tribunal to solve the problems by itself, China and the Philippines should enter a constructive dialogue, discuss their issues together, and jointly decide on a solution that would protect both sides' interests," said Atli.

He was echoed by Kamer Kasim, vice president of the International Strategic Research Organization and dean of Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences with Abant Izzet Baysal University.

"The parties need to engage in peaceful solutions regarding the South China Sea dispute," said Kasim.

Tensions are running high in the South China Sea as the United States and Japan, among others, have opted to engage in the disputes.

"I think that the involvement of countries from outside the region only serves to complicate the situation," observed Atli.

"None of the countries who has a stake in this region, neither China nor the other countries, have anything to gain from rising tension and possible conflicts," he said.

Referring to the fact that almost all of the East Asian countries are going through a process of "serious" economic transformation and restructuring, Atli stressed that "In such a period, what they need is not tension and conflict, they need greater cooperation and integration."

In Kasim's view, it is in the interests of both Washington and Beijing to keep "peace and security" in the Asia-Pacific region.

"The last thing that China and the U.S. needs is any kind of interruption of the trade in Asia-Pacific," he said.

"It would be easy to ignite any kind of conflict in the South China Sea," he stressed. "However, when the conflict starts it would be difficult to stop and it would also be destructive for all sides."

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