Law of the Sea Court Ruling Continues to Challenge Chinese Aggression

Commentary On July 12, 2016, The Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that China had systematically violated essential provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or the UNCLOS, at the expense of the Philippines. China’s violations included stealing resources from Manila’s maritime Exclusive Economic Zone, or EEZ, and illegally encroaching on Filipino territory in the South China Sea, or SCS. UNCLOS codifies the geophysical conditions and legal precedents establishing sovereign control of territorial waters and rights in EEZs. It is dedicated to preventing and peacefully resolving disputes involving billions of dollars of maritime resources. In blunt language, the Court concluded China’s communist government had robbed the Philippines and launched a slow, calculated and highly illegal invasion of the SCS. The ruling dismissed Beijing’s ridiculous “Nine-Dash Line” claim to own roughly 85 percent of the SCS’ 2.2 million square miles. Between 2013, when Manila filed the …

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