On Tuesday, the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration issued its final ruling in a landmark case between the Philippines and China over disputed maritime claims in the South China Sea. The object of intense global interest, the three-year-old case has come to serve as a bellwether for the kind of rising power China intends to be.

The ruling itself offered few surprises. As expected, the panel sided with the Philippines, finding no legal basis for China’s claims that it holds historic rights to most of the South China Sea. [READ MORE]

South China Sea: Building up trouble

Washington sees the ruling, issued by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, after a complaint from the Philippines, as a victory for what some US officials describe as a 21st century rules-based order over China’s 19th-century plans for its own sphere of influence.

By rejecting so many of the assumptions that underpinned Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea, the tribunal has put it on the spot. [READ MORE]

Law Challenges China Dream for Control of South China Sea

NEW DELHI: An international court’s stinging verdict, denying China’s claim to ownership of virtually the entire South China Sea, has put a spanner in the “China Dream” of President Xi Jinping and left him with a series of difficult options.

When he took over leadership of the Chinese Communist Party in November 2012, Xi made the China Dream – described as “the great revival of the Chinese nation” – his signature mission. [READ MORE]

Prospects And Challenges For China After South China Sea Arbitration

China has firmly rejected and denounced the July 2016 award by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague on the arbitration initiated by the Philippines on its dispute with China over the South China Sea.

China’s state-owned Global Times described the award as an “illegal verdict” which was “more radical and shameless than many people had ever expected,” and Chinese President Xi Jinping reaffirmed the long-standing Chinese government position that China would not accept any claim or action based on the award, which it sees as an unjust infringement of its sovereignty. [READ MORE]

Interview: The South China Sea Ruling

The unanimous ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (the “PCA” or “Tribunal”) in the dispute between the Philippines and China is a landmark decision under the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS) and represents a strong rebuke of China’s expansive claims to maritime territory in the South China Sea.

The PCA’s ruling serves not only as a technical legal decision, binding on the parties – China and the Philippines, but also as a broader message concerning the peaceful settlement of disputes in the South China Sea pursuant to a rules-based international order. [READ MORE]

EU Split on South China Sea

For those wondering why China keeps on building seemingly without much hesitation, the inability of the West to show a united front is surely something to note.

It isn’t just the dithering of the United States that emboldens Beijing—Europe’s even greater lack of resolve matters too. [READ MORE]


The South China Sea: Explaining the Dispute

WASHINGTON — After an international tribunal in The Hague ruled emphatically against China in a territorial dispute with the Philippines, many Chinese state media outlets responded on Wednesday by publishing a map.

It showed the South China Sea, with most of the waters encircled with the “nine-dash line” that has long represented China’s claims there. [READ MORE]

Now Back to the Real Power Game in the South China Sea

China’s President Xi Jinping and a number of Western scholars have warned that resisting Beijing’s assertion of control over the South China Sea increases the dangers of the “Thucydides Trap” which posits that rising powers and status quo powers inevitably go to war.

The only way to avoid that trap, they say, is for the United States to accommodate China and accept what Xi calls a “New Model of Great Power Relations” in which Washington and Beijing would determine the future of Asia on an equal basis without America’s allies and partners spoiling the two major powers’ happy condominium. [READ MORE]

Defending David Against the World’s Goliaths in International Court

Paul S. Reichler’s first big break came in the late 1970s, when, not long out of Harvard Law School, he was a litigation associate at a blue-chip Washington law firm.

The Sandinistas had just come to power in Nicaragua, and the partners did not mind putting an idealistic young lawyer to work full time to recover national assets spirited away by the Somoza dictatorship. [READ MORE]

The South China Sea Ruling Against China: What's Really at Stake

This week’s ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration endorsing the Philippines’ claim that China’s interpretations of South China Sea maritime boundaries violate the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is being hailed in Washington as a salutary exercise in rules-based international governance—and as validation for resolute U.S. policy.

But conversations with Chinese academics, analysts, and officials suggest that the outcome may trigger backlash in Beijing against Western-backed international institutions, with potentially profound implications for multilateral management of some of the world’s biggest challenges, from forging cooperative regional security architecture in Asia to climate change. [READ MORE]

China’s Challenge to Rule of Law in Asia Will Test Next President

The recent landmark case ruling from the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague stands as a legal victory for the Philippines in their arguments against China’s claim to the seizure of the Scarborough Shoal and other atolls and rocks in the South China Sea, but it also makes clear that China has a responsibility to abide by international law.

The five-judge tribunal's unanimous decision underscores that under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), that China has no legal basis to claim historic rights over most of the sea, that it has violated international law by endangering fishing vessels and that it has failed to protect marine life. [READ MORE]

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