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International Tribunal Rejects China’s Claim to South China Sea
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080629-G-9409H-602  SOUTH CHINA SEA (June 29, 2008) U.S. Navy and Republic of Singapore ships steam through the South China Sea for the second of two combined Republic of Singapore and United States naval formations during a division tactics exercise during Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2008.  CARAT is an annual series of bilateral military training exercises between the United States and several Southeast Asian nations. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Public Affairs Specialist 3rd Class Angela Henderson (Released)

South China Sea.

Summary: Beijing’s claim to the South China Sea has been ruled invalid by an international court. 

On Tuesday, an international tribune told China that it doesn’t have rights to the South China Sea, and China responded by immediately rejecting the ruling. The Washington Post reports that this decision could further inflame tensions in the area, which has some of the world’s busiest shipping routes.

  
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China has adamantly rebutted the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague’s decision, which has strategic and commercial significance. Analysts believed China wanted to build military spots on island sites, and they said China’s construction would disrupt shipping routes. The State Department has urged China to not build and to accept the decision, but the country is moving forward anyway.

The tribunal said that China is also violating the Philippines’ rights by creating artificial islands that have harmed the ocean ecosystem, possibly destroying precious coral reefs. The Philippines’ secretary of foreign affairs Perfecto Yasay Jr. said that the ruling was a “milestone.” However, Chinese analyst Yanmei Xie said that China views the ruling as “unfavorable” and that it significantly limits Chinese maritime rights.

This ruling comes after the Philippines filed a lawsuit in January 2013, after China seized a large chain of reefs and rocks off the Philippine island of Luzon.

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The United States urges both countries to heed the ruling, and experts said that this decision may harm tensions between the United States and China, which has become a rising world power.

“In the aftermath of this important decision, we urge all claimants to avoid provocative statements or actions,” John Kirby of the State Department said. “This decision can and should serve as a new opportunity to renew efforts to address maritime disputes peacefully.”



The ruling undermines the Beijing claim to sovereignty within the “nine-dash line,” which encompasses the majority of the South China Sea.

“The nine-dash line is the foundation of China’s claim to sovereignty activities in the South China Sea, which has been smashed by the ruling,” researcher Chen Xiangmiao said. “Without this foundation, China has less territory to claim in the South China Sea. However, it’s hard to say how much the ruling will restrain China, given the reaction from the Chinese government.”

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What do you think will be the effects of this ruling? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: The Washington Post

Photo courtesy of bricplusnews.com



 

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