- The UN arbitral tribunal has ruled in favor of the Philippines, telling China that it had no rights over the South China Sea
- China is warned by the European Union to respect the international ruling order or face the consequences
- However, China has decided to ignore the ruling and the jurisdiction of the UN tribunal
- EU has also urged China to implement better trade practices and to stop flooding the global market with cheap products which can lead to economic instability
European Union (EU) President Donald Tusk told China to respect the international ruling order after the United Nations (UN) tribunal ruled against China’s claim over roughly 90 percent of the South China Sea.
According to the ruling of the UN arbitral tribunal, China had no historic rights over the disputed waters. However, China quickly rejected the ruling, saying that the tribunal had no jurisdiction over the territorial dispute.
According to the EU president, China should protect the international ruling order instead of ignoring it, calling this task the biggest challenge for the Asian giant. Tusk explained that respecting the UN ruling is for the common best of the people.
The Philippines lodged its suit against China in 2013, saying that China’s claims over the South China Sea violated the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that the two countries signed.
To strengthen its claims over the disputed waters, China has transformed reefs into artificial islands which could be used for military purposes. Reports of hostility from the Chinese towards Filipino fishermen who travel the disputed waters were also condemned by the UN tribunal.
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EU members have constantly criticized China for its trade practices which allegedly involved flooding the worldwide market with cheap and low-quality products which lead to decreased prices and a threatened stability of the global economy.
“If many start believing that globalization and international trade are happening without or against common rules, then the first victims will be Chinese and European economies, not to mention people,” Tusk said during an EU-China summit in Beijing.