Law Challenges China Dream for Control of South China Sea

In a unanimous decision, the Arbitral Tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled in favor of the Philippines against China’s claims to virtually all of the South China Sea and suggested China’s actions violate the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Both the Philippines and China are signatories to the treaty. In rejecting China’s wide claims and describing its activities as illegal, the verdict punctures the so-called China Dream espoused by President Xi Jinping for the great revival of the nation. “This verdict leaves Xi with an unenviable choice,” explains Nayan Chanda, founding editor of YaleGlobal Online. “He can either defy the world court and risk regional conflict and international opprobrium by illegally carrying on his military expansion, or he can try calm tensions through measured diplomatic efforts which run the risk of making him look weak before an increasingly nationalistic domestic audience that he himself has helped whip up.” The world awaits the response, negotiations or defiance, from both China and the Philippines. – YaleGlobal

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