Now that the UN international tribunal in The Hague has finally ruled over the case filed by the Philippines concerning the maritime dispute in South China Sea, China meanwhile is now plotting its next move.
But international experts say China will not be sitting idly as the world awaits its next move. In fact, Wim Muller of the International Law Programme at policy institute Chatham House in London told CNBC News that China would respond as the world expects it would.
The UN-backed tribunal in The Hague, which heard the case filed by the Philippines against China in 2013, ruled in favor of the Philippines. The court basically declared China’s position in the region as illegal and violates some of South East Asian countries’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), including the Philippines’.
To support its claim, China said it has historical claims over the vast maritime zone. The claim was ultimately junked by the court in an 11-page decision released Tuesday.
“China will respond at different levels to the ruling of the … tribunal, ranging from crude propaganda to highly sophisticated. It will be tempting for the official press to spin it into the old narrative in which a U.S.- and Western-dominated tribunal is rigged against China and therefore lacks any legitimacy,” Muller told CNBC News.
Minutes after the court issued the much-anticipated decision on Tuesday, China, through its state-run media outlet Xinhua, junked the court’s decision, saying it was null, void, and has no binding force.
The court declared China’s nine-dash-rule illegal and in violation of international law. But China has reiterated that it has no intention of recognizing the court’s ruling. The Chinese government also blamed the Philippines in initiating the case, which according to them, could threaten the peace and stability in the region.