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Parting the South China Sea How to Uphold the Rule of Law

 After more than three years of proceedings at the Permanent Court of Arbitration, an international body in The Hague, a tribunal constituted under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) issued a widely anticipated decision in a case the Philippines brought in 2013 to challenge China’s maritime claims [2] to most of the contested waterway [3].

Many observers had expected the tribunal to rule in Manila’s favor. They’d also expected China to reject the tribunal’s decision, since Beijing, a signatory to the convention, has long opposed the proceedings and had warned that it would not abide by the judgment. [READ MORE]

The South China Sea Is Really a Fishery Dispute

Last week the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled overwhelmingly in favor of the Philippines in its case against China’s South China Sea (SCS) claims.

The nearly 500 page ruling undercut Beijing’s claims to control all the land features and water inside China’s nine-dash line and concluded that the disputed land features are either rocks that generate small (12 nautical miles) territorial seas or low-tide elevations that convey no exclusive rights to exploit resources. [READ MORE]

It's Time to Ignore China's Nine-Dash Line

The “so called nine-dash line,” previously “the eleven-dash line” and also referred to as the “ten-dash line,” the “U-shaped line,” the “cow’s tongue” and the “ox’s tongue”: however one chooses to refer to China’s claims of some 80 to 90 percent of the South China Sea, the demarcation no longer holds water, following last week’s ruling issued by the arbitral tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

The tribunal ruled China’s expansive claim under the nine-dash line had no legal basis, and that any claims must be made on the basis of maritime entitlements from land features.

My nationalism, and don’t you forget it

CHINA is smarting. A tribunal in The Hague ruled on July 12th that its claims to most of the South China Sea had no basis in international law.

In the days since, China’s government has shown no sign of wanting to dig itself out of a diplomatic hole—or any sign that it thinks it is in one. [READ MORE]

GOP minds are at sea — but not the right one

Neither the unanimous decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, nor China’s rejection of it, was surprising.

The timing of it was, however, as serendipitous as China’s rejection is ominous. Coming as Republican delegates convene on Lake Erie’s shore, the tribunal’s opinion about the South China Sea underscores the current frivolousness of U.S. politics, which is fixated on a fictitious wall that will never exist but silent about realities on and above the waters that now are the world’s most dangerous cockpit of national rivalries. [READ MORE]

How to Avoid War in the South China Sea

President Xi Jinping seems to agree with the Athenian general who, more than 2,000 years ago, warned the people of Melos that  the strong do what they wish and the weak do as they are compelled.

His government insists that nearly all the South China Sea belongs to China—even islets and reefs close to the Philippines and five other littoral states but hundreds of miles from the Chinese mainland. Instead of raising China in harmony, Beijing’s policies point the world toward the brink of war. [READ MORE]

How the U.S. Should Respond in the South China Sea: Build Its Own Islands

The Permanent Court of Arbitration's decision places more pressure on the U.S. than China, as Washington must now act to support this emphatic judgement. Failure to do so will further weaken America's credibility, and undermine the rules-based order it seeks to preserve.

In order to determine how the US may effectively respond, China's strategy must be understood. [READ MORE]

Philippines Rejects Conditional Talks With China on South China Sea

The Philippines has turned down bilateral talks with China over the South China Sea dispute following Beijing’s insistence that Manila set aside a landmark tribunal ruling issued last week.

Ahead of the July 12 verdict issued by the arbitral tribunal, the country’s new president, Rodrigo Duterte, had been signaling a shift to a more conciliatory approach toward China, with his administration indicating that it was receptive to talks with Beijing. [READ MORE]

Vietnam envoy gives PH tips on dealing with China

MANILA — The Asian country known to face down global superpowers has some advice for the Philippines on how to deal with the West Philippine Sea dispute with China — and it involves pressing several pressure points.

Vietnamese Ambassador to the Philippines Truong Trieu Dong graced a forum on Tuesday with the Association of Generals and Flag Officers at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, gamely answering queries regarding Vietnam’s experience grappling with China’s excursions in their territorial waters. [READ MORE]

Can China Enforce a South China Sea Air-Defense Identification Zone?

The idea that China would declare a South China Sea ADIZ is not new, having been around since China declared one over part of the East China Sea in 2013. However, the very unfavourable ruling by the U.N.

Convention on the Law of the Sea Permanent Court of Arbitration on overlapping claims between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea that invalidated most of China’s claims have again stoked worries that China will now declare one in retaliation, with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin saying such a move could be an option if Beijing felt threatened. [READ MORE]

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