By Katie Hunt, CNN – Source Link
An international tribunal in the Hague ruled in favor of the Philippines Tuesday, concluding that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within South China Sea areas falling within the ‘”nine-dash line.”
China official Xinhua news agency said that the ruling was unlawful and said that the court doesn’t have jurisdiction over sovereignty.
“China doesn’t accept nor acknowledge the ruling,” Xinhua said.
In a statement released straight after the ruling, the Philippines government said it “strongly affirms its respect for this milestone decision as an important contribution to ongoing disputes in the South China Sea.”
China’s “nine-dash line” extends hundreds of miles to the south and east of its island province of Hainan.
The Tribunal also found the none of the sea features claimed by China were capable of generating an Exclusive Economic Zone — which gives country maritime rights to resources such as fish and oil and gas within 200 nautical miles of that land mass.
The Philippines and China have long been at odds over Beijing’s claims of sovereignty over large swathes of the South China Sea, and Manila took its fight to the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2013.
China had refused to participate in the case, which marks the first time an international court has ruled on the region’s mess of overlapping claims.
The tribunal added that “China had violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights” in its exclusive economic zone by interfering in fishing and oil exploration, constructing artificial islands and failing to stop Chinese fisherman from fishing the zone.
The panel found China had caused “severe harm” to coral around the site of its artificial islands. It had also “violated its obligation to preserve and protect fragile ecosystems.”
Chinese fisherman had also killed endangered sea turtles and giant clams “on a substantial scale” — with the full knowledge of China, the tribunal found.
Here is a video from CNN Philippines explaining what this means for our country:
In Response to the ruling, China has released a statement that it is ready to fight with Russia:
Read story here: China: We’re Ready To Fight If Needed and Russia Has Our Back
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