South China Sea War: Tensions High As Court Ruling Looms

South China Sea War: Tensions High As Court Ruling Looms
F/A-18s and Su-30s fly above USS Enterprise. Official US Navy Page / Flickr CC BY 2.0

China will not yield to the ruling on the South China Sea dispute. According to reports, there is growing fear of what will happen should China reject the ruling. Will there be a new world war?


China Will Not Honor the Ruling

China has made it clear that it will not honor the ruling of the international tribunal regarding the territorial dispute case filed by the Philippines. Considering such strong stance, many fear that the tensions in the South China Sea region will see a sharp rise in the next few weeks as the decision comes closer.

According to The Guardian, Western officials claim that they are fearful that China will respond to the ruling of the international tribunal for the law of the sea. Most experts think that the tribunal will be in favor of the Philippines, thus, the growing fears. This will raise the stakes over the disputed region and possibly even accelerate land reclamation activities.

Like us on Facebook

The report also noted that the top US commander in the Pacific and some members of the congress are pressuring the White House to have firmer stand on the matter. The West should have a tougher approach especially over China’s military activities. Beijing believes that the tribunal does not have power over the matter. It also warned that the conflict could escalate since it will defend its claims when necessary.

“Of course, when the ruling comes out our friends in Philippines and in the United States will preach that the tribunal has binding power and that China must obey the result. But surely we will be firm in saying that the results are illegal, that the tribunal has no binding power and China will not accept the ruling,” explained Liu Zhenmin, the Chinese deputy foreign minister.

“The US knows about its own history in south-east Asia. We will oppose the US if it stirs up any conflict in south-east Asia. But if scenarios of the Korean War or Vietnam war are replayed we will have to defend ourselves,” the official added. 

China Opposes G7

China also expressed its dissatisfaction following the joint declaration of the Group of Seven (G7) advanced countries over the South China Sea dispute. Previously, G7 leaders reiterated a strong stance over the matter saying that any military activity that seeks to destabilize the status quo in the region should be opposed. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying countered that the countries are exaggerating what happening over the disputed region.

“China is strongly dissatisfied with what Japan and the G7 have done. It is hoped that G7 countries would take an unbiased and just position, honor their commitment of not taking sides on territorial disputes, stop making irresponsible remarks and do more things that contribute to regional peace and stability,” The Philippine Star quoted Hua.

Also read: South China Sea Dispute: China Insists Philippines Has No Ownership Over Contested Region

Liked this story? Subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more updates on America.


  • Jose Rizal

    The ccp is not going to do anything that leads to war that is for sure because it would mean their demise.

  • britbob

    Effective sovereignty Argument Uninhabited Islands: A case that supports this view of effective sovereignty is relevant is the Minquiers and Ecrehos Case, France/UK of 17th November 1953. In this case both the UK and France had requested the ICJ to determine which country held sovereignty over the uninhabited Islets and rocks in the Minquiers and Ecrehos. France had claimed sovereignty because of historic sovereignty going back to the Dutchy of Normandy in the 11th century while the UK claimed that Jersey had historically exercised administrational jurisdiction on them. The Court decided that in the absence of valid treaty provisions, they considered the argument that the British government has exercised effective control to be superior, so that sovereignty control over the Minquiers and Ecrehos belonged to the UK. (the UK had protested to the French government when a French national had intended to build a house on one of the islats and any deaths occurring on the islets were dealt with by inquests held on Jersey). ICJ Minquiers & Ecrehos Judgment, 17 Nov 1953, p28, paras 6 & 12.

    No delimitation between states with opposite or adjacent coasts may be affected unilaterally by one of those states. For some interesting judgments on territorial seas and to gain an understanding as to how the world court deals with such disputes: