Beijing’s Claims to South China Sea Rejected By Hague Tribunal

For those concerned by China’s aggressive expansion into the South China Sea, there is some very good news and some not so good news. The very good news is that an international tribunal in The Hague has overwhelmingly rejected Chinese claims to rights in the South China Sea, including the construction of artificial islands. The ruling also found that Chinese claims to sovereignty over the waters of the region had no legal basis.

The case against China had been brought by the Philippines in 2013, after China seized Scarborough Shoal. (See our previous post, Standoff in the South China Sea .) “It’s an overwhelming victory. We won on every significant point,” said the Philippines’ chief counsel in the case, Paul S. Reichler. “This is a remarkable victory for the Philippines.”

The not so good news is that while the ruling is is legally binding, there is no mechanism for enforcing it.  China stated on Tuesday that it would not abide by it. “The award is invalid and has no binding force,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “China does not accept or recognize it.”

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5 Responses to Beijing’s Claims to South China Sea Rejected By Hague Tribunal

  1. Phil says:

    China tells the Hague to stick it:

    China govt.: Hague decision null and void
    China’s foreign ministry has declared that the Hague tribunal’s decision on the South China Sea is null and void, and has no binding force.

    The ministry issued a statement on Tuesday, following the ruling in a case filed by the Philippines against China’s claims in the region.
    It said China neither accepts nor recognizes the decision.
    http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160712_34/

    Taiwan fights over a rock!

    Taiwan rejects Hague ruling on maritime rights

    Taiwan has pledged to defend its sovereignty in the South China Sea following Tuesday’s tribunal ruling against its maritime claims there.

    An arbitration tribunal in The Hague ruled that Taiwan-controlled Taiping Island in the Spratly chain is actually a rock, not an island. This means Taiwan is not entitled to a 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone around it.

    Taiwan has rejected the ruling. The government announced it will send a naval vessel to protect the waters around Taiping.

    President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday spoke aboard a warship before it sailed for southern Taiwan.

    She said the ruling has seriously hurt Taiwan’s right to islands in the South China Sea and the waters around them.

    Tsai said that maritime disputes should be resolved through talks, and that Taiwan is willing to join other parties on an equal footing to promote peace and stability in the South China Sea.

    Beijing’s “one China” policy prevents Taiwan from joining the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Taiwan’s government was reportedly displeased that as a result it was unable to make its case directly to the tribunal.
    http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160713_24/

    Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia react to S. China Sea ruling
    ABS-CBN News‎ – 13 hours

    TOKYO – Following the ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on Tuesday, which found that China’s claims to much of the South China Sea were invalid, nations in the region were quick to react to the news.
    http://news.abs-cbn.com/overseas/07/13/16/malaysia-singapore-indonesia-react-to-s-china-sea-ruling

  2. Phil says:

    Just so you’ll know.

    The name S. China Sea means nothing, it is just a name.

    South China Sea is the dominant term used in English for the sea, and the name in most European languages is equivalent, but it is sometimes called by different names in China’s neighboring countries, often reflecting historical claims to hegemony over the sea.

    The English name is a result of early European interest in the sea as a route from Europe and South Asia to the trading opportunities of China. In the sixteenth century Portuguese sailors called it the China Sea (Mar da China); later needs to differentiate it from nearby bodies of water led to calling it the South China Sea. The International Hydrographic Organization refers to the sea as “South China Sea (Nan Hai)

  3. Of far more practical concern than the previous comments repeating the known positions of the various surrounding Nations is the current Philippine Administration. The latest President of that Nation stated on his election that Philippine citizens were free too and should kill drug dealers.
    With a viewpoint like that one has concerns what his reaction will be when the PRC enforces – as they no doubt will – their claim against Philippine fishermen, their families on these islands and international transiting maritime and air traffic.

    Good Watch.

  4. Phil says:

    Fishing boats and men have already been seized.

  5. Phil says:

    Navy forces seize nine Philippine fishing boats for poaching

    ANTARA-Jun 18, 2016

    Surabaya, East Java (ANTARA News) – Indonesian navys combat task force has detained nine Philippines boats indulging in illegal fishing in the waters along …
    http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/105285/navy-forces-seize-nine-philippine-fishing-boats-for-poaching

    S. Korea will not punish local fishermen who seized Chinese boats

    Korea Times-Jun 20, 2016

    A group of South Korean crewmen from 19 fishing boats seized the Chinese boats just south of the Northern Limit Line (NLL) and dragged the …
    http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2016/06/116_207479.html

    Thai fishing boats caught with 200 metric tonnes of marine catch

    New Straits Times Online-Jun 20, 2016

    SANTUBONG: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) seized nine fishing boats and arrested 105 skippers and crewmen …
    http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/06/153286/thai-fishing-boats-caught-200-metric-tonnes-marine-catch