On July 12, 2016, The Philippines won its South China Sea case dispute against China as based from the international court tribunal. Citing that the 9-dash-line has no basis for China to rule 90% of South China Sea. The decision is the latest international arbitration case decision in favor of the Philippine government over its territorial claims against the South China Sea. The decision was made by the international trial court judge in Hague, the Netherlands.
The decision indicates that China loses its right to take control over all atolls, reefs, and islands in the South China Sea. China will now be pressured to give back its territorial claims, which caused a major territorial spat against its Southeast Asian neighbors. In addition, Beijing will be ordered to scale back its military expansion to South China Sea, which is concerning international organizations due to the risk of safety and security with nearby countries.
|South China Sea is now the center of dispute between 7 countries|
As based from the decision, the members of the tribunal concluded that China has no legal basis to claim all of the territories as based from the 9-dash line. Although Chinese vessels, fishermen, and navigators made use of the islets across the South China Sea, it does not indicate that they have the sole jurisdiction over the islands as have been claimed recently through the 9-dash line. The country have not exercised historically to have an exclusive control over the whole of South China Sea since the beginning of time.
The decision made by Hague made a harsh objection to the Chinese government. China have declared that the decision was totally void and invalid. Beijing still indicates that it will still have to safeguard its national interests and maritime rights against any foreign interests who will try to oppose its territorial jurisdiction. China neither accepts the decision nor recognize it because they believe that it is only under the initiative of the Philippines and not with China.
The tribunal reiterated that China have deliberately violated the maritime rights of the Philippines by forcefully claiming all islands across the South China Sea. Aside from violating its rights, creation of artificial islands for military expansion is considered a threat to nearby countries in the South China Sea.
Taiwan also rejects the decision made by the international tribunal, citing that it also violated its maritime ruling on several islands that the country claims in South China Sea. Taiwan reiterates that the decision also violates the Taiwanese law of the sea because the decision included some of the islands that is also claimed by the country.
The Philippine government is now planning to set up a new plan to initiate talks with China after the decision made by the international tribunal. As the winning party of the tribunal, the Philippine government prefers to initiate bilateral talks with the Chinese government in a diplomatic way to prevent any conflicts that could spark international security concerns between the two nations.
China insists that there should never be a third party that would interfere with their bilateral talks with the countries who are directly involved with the sea dispute over territorial claims. These are international organizations as well as countries outside South China Sea. All countries who are not directly involved with the sea dispute should stay away from the legal battle between China and the involved countries in South China Sea.
Aside from China, the Philippines is also under rough waters with other claimants in the South China Sea. These are Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, and Taiwan, which also have claims in several islands in the South China Sea.
Since China is the only superpower nation with a complete maritime capability to patrol its waters, it obviously dominates the entire South China Sea with hundreds of small, medium, and large vessels patrolling all over the area.