An arbitration court in The Hague on Tuesday (July 12) found no legal basis for China to claim historical rights to resources in the South China Sea. It also found that China has interfered with Philippine fishing rights in the disputed waters.
China has no “historic title” over the waters of the South China Sea, said the tribunal, adding that none of the Spratly Islands grant China an exclusive economic zone.
The tribunal said China caused “permanent, irreparable harm” to the coral reef ecosystem at Spratlys. It added that China’s claim to historic rights under the nine-dash-line are contrary to the UN convention.
China “does not accept and does not recognise” the ruling by a UN-backed tribunal on its dispute with the Philippines over the South China Sea, the official Xinhua news agency said.
The comments, in a brief dispatch that did not identify a source, followed the ruling from the arbitration court.
Chinese media earlier called the court a “law-abusing tribunal” and said the award was “ill-founded”.
The Philippines’ foreign minister called for “restraint and sobriety” in the South China Sea.
“Our experts are studying this award with the care and thoroughness that this significant arbitral outcome deserves,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay told a news conference.
“We call on all those concerned to exercise restraint and sobriety. The Philippines strongly affirms its respect for this milestone decision.”