July 14, 2016

Choose your own adventure: The Next President's Voyage in the South China Sea

By Mira Rapp-Hooper and Patrick M. Cronin

Two days ago, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague issued a truly stunning and long-anticipated ruling in the Philippines vs. China case over the South China Sea. After three years of deliberations, initiated by the Philippines and in which China refused participation, the tribunal’s 500-page ruling dealt a knockout blow to Beijing’s expansive maritime claims. Most notably, the court ruled that China could not use its nine-dash line to claim “historic rights” to resources in the South China Sea. It also made a surprising ruling on the legal status of the land features in the Spratly Islands, judging that it is composed entirely of reefs and rocks as opposed to islands, and that none can claim more than a 12 nautical mile territorial sea. In so doing, the court effectively enclaved China’s island outposts in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, making it impossible for it to claim broad swaths of sea or the resources that lie beneath.

 

To read the full article, visit the War on the Rocks website.

  • Commentary
    • World Politics Review
    • February 8, 2019
    How China and the U.S. Are Competing for Young Minds in Southeast Asia

    Business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month warned that China has overtaken the United States in the development of artificial intelligence and other emer...

    By Kristine Lee

    • Commentary
    • War on the Rocks
    • September 21, 2016
    China's Artificial Islands Are Bigger (And a Bigger Deal) Than You Think

    Surely you have heard the news — China has been dredging up coral reefs and creating artificial islands in the South China Sea with the purpose of enforcing their claims...

    By CDR Thomas Shugart, USN

    • Commentary
    • The National Interest
    • August 10, 2016
    Beijing's Go Big or Go Home Moment in the South China Sea

    China is preparing for its go or go home moment in the South China Sea and it appears they have chosen the right time to make a play for regional and, ultimately, global domin...

    By Jerry Hendrix

    • Commentary
    • Foreign Affairs
    • July 22, 2016
    Parting the South China Sea

    July 12, 2016, marked a turning point in the long-standing disputes over the South China Sea. After more than three years of proceedings at the Permanent Court of Arbitration,...

    By Mira Rapp-Hooper

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia