A state-run Chinese newspaper on Wednesday included India among the nations which supported China's stand on the strategic South China Sea after Beijing rejected the verdict of a UN-backed tribunal that struck down the Communist giant's claims of "historical rights" in the disputed area.
State-run China Daily showed a world map in its website showing India among the countries supporting China's stand.
"More than 70 countries have publicly voiced support for China's position that South China Sea disputes should be resolved through negotiations and not arbitration. In contrast, just several countries, mainly the United States and its close allies, have publicly supported the Philippines and called for observing the ruling as legally binding," according to the text displayed above the map.
Within hours of the tribunal's ruling, India's External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi asked all parties involved in the SCS row to resolve the maritime dispute through peaceful means without threat or use of force and "show utmost respect" to the verdict by Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.
India's reaction came after the tribunal ruled that China has no legal basis to its claims of "historic rights" to islands in South China Sea, through which $3 trillion passes in trade annually.
China asserts sovereignty over almost all of the South China Sea waters in the face of rival claims from its southeast Asian neighbours.