International court rules against China’s sovereignty claims over South China Sea

12 July 2016 (Last Updated July 12th, 2016 18:30)

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague, Netherlands, has rejected China’s claims of sovereignty over stretches of South China Sea in a case filed by the Philippines.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague, Netherlands, has rejected China’s claims of sovereignty over stretches of South China Sea in a case filed by the Philippines.

China has been involved in territorial claims over disputes over almost all of South China Sea region with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan.

In January 2013, the Philippines instituted arbitral proceedings against China under Annex VII to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, related to disputes with China over its maritime jurisdiction in the West Philippine Sea, and made 15 submissions.

"There was no evidence that China had historically exercised exclusive control over the waters or their resources."

The court unanimously rendered its award and stated that China’s rights to resources in the waters of the South China Sea "were extinguished to the extent they were incompatible with the exclusive economic zones provided for in the Convention."

It also noted that "there was no evidence that China had historically exercised exclusive control over the waters or their resources."

The tribunal concluded that "there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the 'nine-dash line'."

Commenting on the tribunal’s findings, China President Xi Jinping was quoted by media sources as saying that the country’s "territorial sovereignty and marine rights" in the seas will not be affected by the ruling "in any way."