A crucial United Nations tribunal today ruled that China’s claims in the South China Sea are unfounded, much to the delight of Filipinos who were fed up with Chinese occupation of the disputed territories.
Today, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that China has no rights to the disputed lands and waters in the South China Sea, also known as the West Philippine Sea, depending on your vantage point. The Philippines filed the case against China at the beginning of 2013 and have consequently been waiting for a final ruling for more than three years.
The tribunal confirmed that China had violated the Philippines’ sovereignty as well as irreparably destroyed the Great Barrier Reef by building man-made islands. Moreover, China has been dumping toxic chemicals in the water near some islands, including Pag-asa Island, to purposefully poison and kill fish, which has destroyed the livelihood of Filipino locals.
Twitter erupted this morning with the #CHexit hashtag, which international protesters have been using to promote the Chinese departure from the South China Sea.
You harassed our fishermen, destroyed our reefs and plundered our marine resources. It's time for you to leave our territory! #CHexit ????— Hey it's just J (@jason_without_y) July 12, 2016
#CHexit was never and will never be about filipinos vs ordinary chinese citizens. it's a demand vs chinese government and its bully behavior— mong palatino (@mongster) July 12, 2016
Lesson learned: never take something and claim it as your own when it's not even yours in the first place.#CHexit— gillian m (@GllnMcd_) July 12, 2016
China, however, has largely dismissed the ruling so far and maintains it will not be removing its armed forces from the region.
Photo credit: Twitter, @seludotcom