A tribunal in the Hague rejected on Thursday Beijing’s assertion that disputes in the South China Sea with the Philippines concerned China’s territorial sovereignty, clearing the way for the court to hear seven of Manila’s submissions under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Reuters reported. The tribunal also ruled that China’s decision to not participate did “not deprive the tribunal of jurisdiction”. Meanwhile, the chiefs of the American and Chinese navies held a teleconference in the wake of outrage from Beijing over a US warship’s sail-by of artificial islands which China has constructed in the sea’s contested waters, South China Morning Post reported.
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