The recent ruling from the Hague, that the South China Sea belongs to American proxies, has been ignored by everyone in South East Asia. This is explained by a recent Private Tye survey. We found that when translated into Asian languages such as Cambodian and Tagalog the phrase “the Hague says the South China Sea belongs to the USA” comes out as “Someone drinking Haig said China's sea belongs to Uncle Sam”
However, anyone, who thinks that the recent ruling on the South China Sea was made by the International Court of Justice, must have been drinking Haig. It wasn't, the International Court of Justice had nothing to do with the ruling. A fact glossed over by the western media with the phrase “the Hague ruled...” The ruling was, actually, made by the “Permanent Court of Arbitration”, which is a very different thing. With the Court of Justice, two nation states must agree to arbitration, with the Permanent Court, a case can be brought unilaterally. This is what happened with the South China Sea Philippines versus China case, from the outset China said it would not participate. It was a case with a prosecutor but no defense. Not surprising that China did not accept the ruling. The hilarious thing is that, with the new “Americans out” policy, the Philippines is also ignoring the ruling.
From the New York Times, which did not name the court, (12 July):
An international tribunal in The Hague delivered a sweeping rebuke on Tuesday of China’s behavior in the South China Sea, including its construction of artificial islands, and found that its expansive claim to sovereignty over the waters had no legal basis.
The landmark case, brought by the Philippines, was seen as an important crossroads in China’s rise as a global power and in its rivalry with the United States, and it could force Beijing to reconsider its assertive tactics in the region or risk being labeled an international outlaw. It was the first time the Chinese government had been summoned before the international justice system.
In its most significant finding, the tribunal rejected China’s argument that it enjoys historic rights over most of the South China Sea. That could give the governments of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam more leverage in their own maritime disputes with Beijing.
The tribunal also said that China had violated international law by causing “irreparable harm” to the marine environment, endangering Philippine ships and interfering with Philippine fishing and oil exploration.
“It’s an overwhelming victory. We won on every significant point,” said the Philippines’ chief counsel in the case, Paul S. Reichler.
But while the decision is legally binding, there is no mechanism for enforcing it, and China, which refused to participate in the tribunal’s proceedings, reiterated on Tuesday that it would not abide by it.
Speaking at a meeting with European leaders, President Xi Jinping was defiant, reasserting China’s claim to sovereignty over the South China Sea “since ancient times,” the state-run People’s Daily reported. His remarks echoed a statement from the Foreign Ministry. The tribunal’s decision “is invalid and has no binding force,” the ministry said. “China does not accept or recognize it.”
The foreign secretary of the Philippines, Perfecto Yasay Jr., welcomed the ruling as “significant” and called on “all those concerned to exercise restraint and sobriety.”
The five judges and legal experts on the tribunal ruled unanimously, and the decision was so heavily in favor of the Philippines that there were fears about how the Chinese leadership would react. Many in the region worry that Beijing will accelerate its efforts to assert control over the South China Sea, which includes vital trade routes and fishing waters as well as possible oil and mineral deposits.
“Xi Jinping has lost face here, and it will be difficult for China to do nothing,” said Bonnie S. Glaser, a senior adviser for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “I expect a very tough reaction from China, since it has lost on almost every point. There is virtually nothing that it has won.”
The Philippines filed its case in 2013, after China seized a reef over which both countries claim sovereignty. There has been speculation that Beijing might respond to the decision by building an artificial island at the reef, Scarborough Shoal, a move that could set off a conflict with the Philippines and its treaty ally, the United States.
The State Department spokesman, John Kirby, said Washington expected China to comply with the ruling. “The world is watching to see if China is really the global power it professes itself to be and the responsible power that it professes itself to be,” he said.
The main issue before the panel was the legality of China’s claim to waters within a “nine-dash line” that appears on official Chinese maps and encircles as much as 90 percent of the South China Sea, an area the size of Mexico. The Philippines had asked the tribunal to find the claim to be in violation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which both China and the Philippines have ratified.
In its decision, the tribunal said any historic rights to the sea that China had previously enjoyed “were extinguished” by the treaty, which lays out rules for drawing zones of control over the world’s oceans based on distances to coastlines. The panel added that while China had used islands in the sea in the past, it had never exercised exclusive authority over the waters.
The panel also concluded that several disputed rocks and reefs in the South China Sea were too small for China to claim control of economic activities in the waters around them. As a result, it found, China was engaged in unlawful behavior in Philippine waters, including activities that had aggravated the dispute.
The tribunal cited China’s construction of a large artificial island on an atoll known as Mischief Reef. China has built a military airstrip, naval berths and sports fields on the island, but the tribunal ruled that it was in Philippine waters.