Court to rule on South China Sea fight

Court to rule on South China Sea fight

Court to rule on South China Sea fight

Written by Staff Writer

12 Jul, 2016 | 9:46 am

An international tribunal is set to give a long-awaited landmark ruling in a case that will have major implications for China’s controversial claims in the disputed South China Sea.

With the Philippines and China at loggerheads over Beijing’s claims of sovereignty over large swathes of the South China Sea, the case at the tribunal in The Hague was brought by the Philippines, in 2013.

China claims about 90% of the South China Sea, including reefs and islands also claimed by others.

China has boycotted the hearings at the Permanent Court of Arbitration, saying it does not have jurisdiction to decide on the matter.

The ruling stands to further ramp up tensions in the region, where China’s increased military assertiveness has spread concern among its smaller neighbors and is a point of confrontation with the United States.

The United States and China regularly conduct military exercises in the area, which is of vital interest to both Beijing and Washington, and have accused each other of provocations as recently as last month.

However, observers say it could favor the Philippines – and China risks reputational damage if it does not abide by it.

They also warn there is a risk that China could react aggressively to a ruling against it.

The US has sent an aircraft carrier and fighter jets to the region in anticipation of this, prompting an angry editorial in the Global Times, a strongly nationalist state-run newspaper, calling for the country to prepare for “military confrontation”.

 

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