China says Hague tribunal’s ruling is null and void

(From ABS-CBN news)

China’s Foreign Ministry rejected Tuesday the ruling of an international arbitration court that nixed Beijing’s claims to economic rights across large swathes of the South China Sea.

Spratlys aerial view

The Hague tribunal ruling says all high-tide features in the Spratlys are legally ‘rocks’ that do not generate an exclusive economic zone or continental shelf

In its ruling, judges at an arbitration tribunal in The Hague said there was no legal basis for China to “claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line.'”

Judges also found that Chinese law enforcement patrols had risked colliding with Philippine fishing vessels in parts of the sea and caused irreparable damage to coral reefs with construction work.

In response, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China said the award of the Permanent Court of Arbitration “is null and void and has no binding force. China neither accepts nor recognizes it.”

Beijing said that by unilaterally initiating arbitration proceedings on the South China Sea dispute, the Philippine government had breached the agreement between the two states, violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and went against the general practice of international arbitration. Read More

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