Beijing closes disputed sea for military drills

1

BEIJING: Beijing will close off access to part of the South China Sea for military drills, officials said Monday, after an international tribunal ruled against its sweeping claims in the waters.

Advertisements

An area off the east coast of China’s island province of Hainan will host military exercises from Tuesday to Thursday, China’s maritime administration said on its website, adding that entrance was “prohibited.”

The area of sea identified is some distance from the Paracel islands and even further from the Spratlys, with both chains claimed by Beijing and several other neighboring states.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague last week ruled that there was no legal basis for Beijing’s claims to much of the sea, embodied in a “nine-dash line” that dates from 1940s maps and stretches close to other countries’ coasts.

Manila — which lodged the suit against Beijing — welcomed the decision, as China dismissed it as a “piece of waste paper”.

Despite Chinese objections, the European Union weighed in on the subject at a regional summit this weekend, with President Donald Tusk telling reporters that the grouping “will continue to speak out in support of upholding international law,” adding that it had “full confidence” in the PCA and its decisions.

China pressured countries in the ASEAN bloc of Southeast Asian nations not to issue a joint statement on the ruling, diplomats said.

Beijing held military drills in the South China Sea just days before the international arbitration court ruling, state media reported.

China has rapidly built reefs in the waters into artificial islands capable of military use.

AFP

Share.
loading...
Loading...

Please follow our commenting guidelines.

1 Comment

  1. China just cannot swallow yet the ruling of the international arbitration court that south china sea doesn’t belong to them. China just have to explain to the Chinese people that they lose and should obey the ruling because although they are one of the world’s superpowers, China will and cannot go to war. The battle is China against the world!