The Permanent Court of Arbitration – an international tribunal in The Hague – made a ruling supporting the Philippines case in a dispute with China over the South China Sea. But it might not make a difference.
China’s authoritarian President Xi Jingping said, “China will never accept any clam or action based on those awards.”
China had refused to recognize the proceedings, boycotting them entirely.
As reported by CNN, $5 trillion of trade travels by ship through the South China Sea every year, which explains why China wants to lay claim to it.
As is often the case in international disputes, power will matter more than law. China has a more powerful military and navy than the Philippines, and western countries are highly unlikely to intervene in the area in the immediate future.
Photo credit: Times Asi https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/