China’s claim to a large swathe of the South China Sea was refuted today by an international tribunal, in a case brought by the Philippines over contested islets in the resource-rich area.
China has said it does not recognise the Arbitral Tribunal of th Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. “As the panel has no jurisdiction, its decision is naturally null and void,” state-run news agency Xinhua wrote.
The Philippines claim that the Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal were part of its Exclusive Economic Zone under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Both lie within an area claimed by China known as the nine-dash line, which covers territory claimed by several nearby nations.
Meanwhile, The Philippines urges “restraint and sobriety” after an international court ruled against China’s sweeping claims in the disputed South China Sea.
The Philippines welcomes the “milestone decision” and experts will carefully study the award, Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay said.
“In the meantime, we call on both concerned to exercise restraint and sobriety,” he said in a statement.
“The Philippines strongly affirms its respect for this milestone decision as an important contribution to ongoing efforts in addressing disputes in the South China Sea.”