The Philippines has sought to debunk China's claims to disputed islands in the South China Sea, court officials said Monday (November 30) as an international tribunal wrapped up a five-day hearing, says an AFP report.
The Philippines has asked the Permanent Court of Arbitration
in The Hague to affirm its right to areas within 200 nautical miles of its coastline, under the terms of a U.N. convention.
Although Beijing has refused to take part in the hearing before the Permanent Court of Arbitration, judges have now given China until Jan 1 to write a rebuttal to the case laid out by Manila in the Hague.
China rejects the court's jurisdiction. It claims an area inside what it calls the "nine-dash line" which stretches south and east of mainland China and covers hundreds of disputed islands and reefs also claimed by the Philippines, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia
Beijing claims sovereignty over almost the whole of the South China Sea on the basis of a segmented line that first appeared on Chinese maps in the 1940s, pitting it against several neighbors.
Meanwhile, China has voiced “strong discontent” over the recent intrusion of a US warship in waters near China’s Nansha Islands in the South China Sea.