Published: Tue, July 12, 2016
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Taiwan rejects ruling on South China Sea island of Itu Aba

When joining the Law of the Sea Convention, parties agree to the Convention's compulsory dispute settlement process to resolve disputes.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the ruling is an opportunity for everyone in the region to act in a sensible way in accordance with the rule of law in order to settle disputes.

"It's true", Kang Chao said. "International law is made by some states, which means it doesn't benefit all the states. It definitely hurts some states".

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida expressed hope on Tuesday for the peaceful settlement of South China Sea disputes, following the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration's decision on the disputed territories in the South China Sea.

Beijing has held naval drills between the Paracels and the southern Chinese island of Hainan in recent days. The five fishermen were rescued by another trawler around seven hours later.

The ruling doesn't just affect China, but other countries that have competing claims with the nation over large areas of sea.

The Philippines government "strongly affirms its respect for this milestone decision as an important contribution to ongoing disputes in the South China Sea", it said in a statement. "When China kicked the Filipinos out of Scarborough Shoal in 2012, that was the last straw".

One person held up a poster that said: "Philippine sovereignty, non-negotiable".

The tribunal also found that none of the sea features claimed by China were capable of generating what's called an exclusive economic zone - which gives a country maritime rights to resources such as fish and oil and gas within 200 nautical miles of that land mass.

"We think that this is not only a victory for the Philippines but it is a victory for the rule of law and global relations", he told reporters in a teleconference hours after the tribunal issued its decision.

"The award is null and void and has no binding force", the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement after the ruling. In addition, China's nine-dash line overlaps waters that are part of Indonesia's internationally recognized exclusive economic zone.

Chinas territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the SCS shall under no circumstances be affected by those awards. China opposes and will never accept any claim or action based on those awards, the statement quoted by state-run Xinhua new agency said.

US lawmakers have called for the United States to uphold freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea. The State Department points out that the court's decision is legally binding on both China and the Philippines.

Japan, a key USA ally and China's neighbor, issued a statement saying it "strongly expects that the parties' compliance with this ruling will eventually lead to the peaceful settlement of disputes in the South China Sea".

The United States is a major player in the region and has sent warships and military aircraft around the South China Sea, including near disputed reefs and shoals, citing worldwide law and freedom of movement but triggering harsh warnings from China.

And since they have found that these certain areas are within the EEZ of the Philippines, the Tribunal found that Beijing had violated Manila's sovereign rights in its EEZ by interfering with Philippine fishing and petroleum exploration, constructing artificial islands and failing to prevent Chinese fishermen from fishing in the zone.

China's strong reaction came after the tribunal struck a blow to its claims over nearly all of the SCS, saying that its much touted nine-dash line has has no legal basis.

"The Philippines reiterates its abiding commitment to efforts of pursuing the peaceful resolution and management of disputes with the view of promoting and enhancing peace and stability in the region", he said.

China's claim to the nine-dash line relies on history, as Anthony explained on Morning Edition.

The Indian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Tuesday saying New Delhi has noted the Hague tribunal ruling.

The panel said that any historic rights to resources that China may have had were wiped out if they are incompatible with exclusive economic zones established under a United Nations treaty.

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