THE HAGUE: In a major setback to the ambitions of the dragon nation over the South China sea, an international tribunal has on Tuesday backed a case brought by the Philippines against the unlawful claims of China over the South China sea.
The permanent court of Arbitration, a tribunal under the United Nations Convention on the law of the Sea (UNCLOS), ruled that there is no evidence to prove that China has exclusive control over the South China sea or its resources, historically. The tribunal said that China had violated the Philippines sovereign rights by imposing meaningless restrictions in the South China sea.
Also, the Arbitration court underlined the damage done to the environment due to China’s construction of artificial islands in the sea. “The construction of artificial islands in the South China sea has done a severe damage to the coral reef environment. China’s stance in the matters of South China sea is totally immoral”, the tribunal opined.
However, China looked unfazed as usual when it comes to the issues of the South China Sea. The Chinese president said that the ruling was “ill founded” and added that China will not be bound by it.
Though the ruling came from the Arbitration tribunal under the UNCLOS, the panel does not have the powers to enforce a judgement.
The dispute between China and Philippines is over the Scarborough Shoal and Spratlys in particular. China had similar spats with other neighbors who also claim their sovereignty over parts of South China sea.
Philippines government said that it is going through the judgement copy and will only comment after the due process. On the hand, China reiterated that it can solve its disputes in a peaceful manner and asked international bodies to stay away from the affairs of China.