The Permanent Court of Arbitration has issued its “award” concerning China’s encroachment into the South China Sea, a move that was contested by the Philippines. The ruling is a clear rebuke of China’s claims. Rather than read the 500-page verdict, this press release succinctly lays out the decision and its total refutation of China’s claims. Why is this so important? For many reasons: China’s violation of other nations’ maritime rights, its systematic and widespread damage to the local ecologies, the fact that this area contains a great deal of natural gas under the water, almost $5 trillion worth of shipping goes through the disputed area, and China’s militarization of the islands in the sea, some of them actually created by China. Here is China’s response.
For additional information, please look at: China Maritime Studies (U.S. Naval War College); China’s Maritime Disputes and South China Seas Tension (Council of Foreign Relations); What Does the South China Sea Ruling Mean, and What’s Next? (Brookings); South China Sea (U.S. Energy Information Administration); The South China Sea dispute: July 2016 update (UK House of Commons Library); Chinese Land Reclamation in the South ChinaSea: Implications and Policy Options, Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress, and Maritime Territorial Disputes in East Asia: Issues for Congress (all CRS); China (International Crisis Group); and Why does China care so much about the South China Sea? Here are 5 reasons (Washington Post).