[Ed. – This is what we would expect, at least in terms of rejecting China’s wildly excessive maritime claims in the South China Sea. The added charge that China is violating obligations under international law, and aggravating the situation, will certainly rile Beijing up. I don’t think we’ll see a rapid, dramatic ramp-up in disruptive activity from China, but things will continue to get worse. China won’t be deterred from anything she’s already doing by this ruling.]
An international tribunal rejected China’s extensive claims in the South China Sea in a landmark ruling Tuesday that also found the country had aggravated the seething regional dispute and violated the Philippines’ maritime rights by building up artificial islands that destroyed coral reefs and by disrupting fishing and oil exploration.
While the decision is seen as a major legal declaration regarding one of the world’s most contested regions, China immediately rejected it as a “farce” and the true impact is uncertain given the tribunal has no power of enforcement. …
The Philippines, under a U.N. treaty governing the seas, asked in 2013 for arbitration on a number of issues it had with treaty co-signee China.
The five-member panel from the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands, unanimously concluded China had violated its obligations to refrain from aggravating the dispute while the settlement process was ongoing.
It also found that China had interfered with Philippine petroleum exploration at Reed Bank, tried to stop fishing by Philippine vessels within the country’s exclusive economic zone and failed to prevent Chinese fishermen from fishing within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone at Mischief Reef and Second Thomas Shoal.
China, which boycotted the entire proceedings, reiterated that it does not accept the panel’s jurisdiction.