Even before a ruling, China may have lost by refusing to cooperate with a U.N. arbitration tribunal over its South China Sea claims. Yet Beijing seems prepared to absorb the cost to its reputation, confident that in terms of territory and resources, it won’t lose a thing.
Despite pressure from Washington and elsewhere, China appears determined to avoid granting any hint of legitimacy to a process that might challenge its claim to ownership of virtually the entire South China Sea, including its islands, reefs, fish stocks and potentially rich reserves of oil and gas.
The collateral cost, analysts say: harm to global efforts to resolve similar territorial disputes through legal means. By its actions, China is demonstrating that countries can reject such measures whenever they conflict with their interests. Read More