An international tribunal in The Hague ruled in favor of the Philippines in disputed waters concluding that China has no evidence to claim historic rights on waters on South China Sea.
Chinese President Xi Jinping strongly rejected the decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, saying that the court issued an “ill-founded award.”
“China will never accept any claim or action based on those awards,” Xi said.
Before the decision was even ruled out, China boycotted the hearings at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague and vowed again to ignore the ruling and said that its armed forces would defend its sovereignty and maritime interests.
Xinhua news agency said shortly before the ruling was announced that a Chinese civilian aircraft was successfully carried out calibration tests on its two new airports in Spratly Islands.
China’s Defense Ministry announced that a new guided missile destroyer was formally commissioned at a naval base on southern island province of Hainan, which is responsible for the South China Sea.
“This award represents a devastating legal blow to China’s jurisdictional claims in the South China Sea,” Ian Storey of Singapore’s ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute, told Reuters.
“China will respond with fury, certainly in terms of rhetoric and possibly through more aggressive actions at sea.”
The tribunal concluded that China doesn’t have the right to resources and claiming of its ‘nine-dash line” is invalid.
“If China’s nine-dash line is invalid as to the Philippines, it is equally invalid to those States and, indeed, the rest of the international community,” the lawyers who led Philippines’ legal team said in a statement.
Beijing ignored the ruling saying that its islands come with exclusive economic zones where Chinese people had activities for 2,000 years.
The Hague tribunal on its ruling said that “There was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line’, referring to a demarcation line on a map of the sea from 1947.
According to the tribunal, Beijing’s exclusive economic zone violates sovereignty by “interfering with Philippine fishing and petroleum exploration: constructing artificial islands and failing to prevent Chinese fishermen from fishing in the zone,” among other things.
China repeatedly warned that it would not accept and not recognize any adverse ruling from the Hague’s arbitration court.
In its statement, “China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea shall under no circumstances be affected by those awards.”
Ahead of the ruling, around 100 members of Philippine nationalist group had demonstrated outside Chinese consulate in Manila calling on Beijing to accept the ruling and leave Scarborough Shoal, as Filipinos are off limits from the fishing zone since 2012.