In a setback to China, The Hague Tribunal today ruled that China has "no historic rights" in South China Sea.
In a setback to China and victory for Philippines, The Hague Tribunal today ruled that China has “no historic rights” in South China Sea. The UN-backed tribunal said it has jurisdiction to rule on China’s nine-dash-line claim in South China Sea.
“There was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line’,” the court said, referring to a demarcation line on a 1947 map of the sea, which is rich in energy, mineral and fishing resources.
In the 497-page ruling, judges also found that Chinese law enforcement patrols had risked colliding with Philippine fishing vessels in parts of the sea and caused irreparable damage to coral reefs with construction work.
China, which boycotted the case brought by the Philippines, has said it will not be bound by any ruling.
Meanwhile, a Chinese civilian aircraft successfully carried out calibration tests on two new airports in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, state news agency Xinhua said. It said the two airports were on Mischief Reef and Subi Reef, and the facilities will help with personnel transfers to the Spratlys.
The announcement came as a tribunal in The Hague said none of the Spratly islands granted China an exclusive economic zone.
China has boycotted the hearings at the Permanent Court of Arbitration, saying it does not have jurisdiction over the dispute.
Earlier, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang, asked how China would be getting the ruling, said it would have nothing to do with the court.
“We won’t accept any of their so-called materials, no matter what they are,” Lu told reporters.
China claims most of the energy-rich waters through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. Neighbours Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims.
The case, brought by the Philippines in 2013, hinges on the legal status of reefs, rocks and artificial islands in the Scarborough Shoal and Spratly Island group.
(With inputs from Agencies)