ASIA TIMES — China’s takeover of the South China Sea is nearly complete and Beijing is now stepping up its sophisticated information warfare campaign in preparation for an expected unfavorable ruling from an international tribunal affecting its island claims.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague is expected to rule within the next few weeks on an appeal from the Philippines challenging the legality of China’s claim to maritime sovereignty over most of the South China Sea under its ill-defined “Nine-Dash Line” over 90% of the sea.
The Philippines, in early 2013, brought its case to the court, asserting that the Chinese maritime zone is illegal because it violates the 2006 UN Convention on the Law of Sea that sets out exclusive economic zones and territorial waters.
China’s response was to refuse to take part, based on asserting Beijing’s questionable historical claims over the sea stretching back to the Ming dynasty that ended in 1624.
An indicator of the Chinese reaction to the court was on display in The Hague on Saturday. China’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Wu Ken, used the official Xinhua news agency to denounce the pending decision – even before it was announced.
• CHINA TO ‘PRESSURE’ US ON MARITIME ISSUES: XINHUA — ASIA TIMES