China Has ‘No Historic Right’ to South China Sea
Philippines finally won the case against China over a maritime dispute in the South China Sea. The announcement came after a three-year process pursued by the Asian country but snubbed by Beijing. Philippines wins maritime case, but China remains defiant.
CNN reports that the arbitral tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands ruled in favor of the Philippines in the maritime dispute Tuesday. The ruling concluded that China has no legal basis to claim historic rights to resources in the disputed region.
The ruling was gladly welcomed by the Philippines. In fact, Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr said in a statement, the Philippines “welcomes” the award from The Hague.
“Our experts are studying the Award with the care and thoroughness that this significant arbitral outcome deserves. In the meantime, we call on all those concerned to exercise restraint and sobriety.” – Secretary Yasay
In addition, Yasay highlighted that the Philippines “strongly affirms its respect for this milestone decision” to end the long-contested claim in the South China Sea.
Philippines Wins Maritime Case: China Defiant
The BBC reported that the arbitration court ruled on 15 points brought to the court by the Philippines.
China Rejects the Ruling
Amid the celebration in the Philippines for winning the case, China slammed the ruling. China also boycotted the proceeding. In fact, Chinese President Xi Jinping rejected the decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
“China will never accept any claim or action based on those awards.” – President Xi
In addition, China’s Ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, accused the tribunal of “professional incompetence” and “questionable integrity.”
China Violates Philippines Sovereign Rights
The tribunal ruled that none of the sea features claimed by China were capable of generating what’s called an exclusive economic zone – a sea zone prescribed by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea over which a state has special rights on the exploration and use of marine resources such as fish, oil and gas within 200 nautical miles of that land mass.
However, China has launched illegal activities in the region, thus violating the Philippines’ sovereign rights. Among those violations were fishing, oil exploration, and building artificial islands.
In addition, the tribunal found China had caused “severe harm” to coral around the site of its artificial islands.
The tribunal said Chinese fisherman also killed endangered sea turtles and giant clams on a substantial scale.