An international tribunal emphatically rejected China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, raising regional tensions and forcing Beijing into a conundrum over how to respond: ignore international law, or yield ground to its neighbors and the U.S. The tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled overwhelmingly in favor of the Philippines, which had brought the case, The Wall Street Journal reports. Most damaging for China was the decision invalidating its claims to historic rights in all the waters within a nine-dash line covering most of the South China Sea. The judges also ruled Beijing couldn’t claim broad zones for exclusive economic use and excoriated a range of China’s behavior, from its massive building of artificial islands to its failure to protect the marine environment.
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