The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on Tuesday rejected China’s controversial claims in the disputed South China Sea, the Guardian reported.
“Thewelcomes the issuance today… On the arbitration proceedings initiated by the Philippines with regard to the South China Sea,” Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay told reporters minutes after the court in The Hague released its verdict.
The case at the international tribunal was brought by the Philippines, which argues that Chinese activity in the region was against international law.
Besides accusing China of taking control of the area around 140 miles from its coast, the Philippines’ petition asked the international tribunal to reject China’s claim to sovereignty over waters within a ‘nine-dash line’ that appears on official Chinese maps.
The U-shaped line represents China’s claims to as much as 90% of the(SCS) important for global trade and rich in natural resources, including oil deposits.
China’s People’s Daily newspaper tweeted that “Law-abusing tribunal issues ill-founded award on #SouthChinaSea arbitration”.
The judgement comes against the backdrop of frequent military brushes between China and its Asian neighbours the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan, which ring the waters believed to hold untapped oil and gas reserves.
The tensions have also alarmed the United States which has key defence treaties with many regional allies, and in a show of strength last week sent warships to patrol close to some of the reefs and islands claimed by China.