South China Sea Showdown: America Must Step Up to Face Off With China

THE NATIONAL INTEREST — The United States faces a major challenge in Asia’s South China Sea. The UN’s Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) announced that they will hand down a decision on July 12 concerning a 2013 suit brought by the Philippines against China under the provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Alarmed by China’s repeated territorial claims, massive land reclamation projects built upon coral mined from the seabed, mineral exploitation surveys and aggressive assertion of fishing rights regardless of Exclusive Economic Zone delineations, the Philippines seek a judgment from the ultimate multinational authority. This court is expected to determine the legal basis—or lack thereof—for China’s expansive territorial claims of indisputable historical sovereignty over 85 percent of the South China Sea enclosed within their ambiguous “nine-dash line”. The court will rule on the maritime entitlements of specific features in the South China Sea and on certain Chinese activities there. The court is expected to decide in favor of the Philippines and in favor of UNCLOS. China is not expected to agree, arguing that the South China Sea is sovereign Chinese territory, and that the court has no jurisdiction. China has in fact repeatedly announced that they will disregard the court’s decision. What is at stake is the access of Asian nations to the international waters and airspace of the South China Sea for transit and trade, and the access of that sea’s littoral nations to fishing areas and seabed minerals.

AMERICA HAS A CHANCE TO BEAT BACK CHINA’S SOUTH CHINA SEA STRATEGY — TNI

EMBEDDING TWEETS NOW ILLEGAL FOR NEWS AGENCIES IN CHINA — DC

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