Newswise — On July 12, a United Nations tribunal is expected to rule on an arbitration case involving contested territory in the South China Sea. Allen Carlson, professor of government and expert in Chinese politics at Cornell University, says that the Philippines brought the case to court with the hope of undermining Chinese claims. Regardless of whether the decision favors China or the Philippines, Carlson says, the ruling will have a profound impact on the wide-ranging dispute over the South China Sea.
Carlson says:“There is a general sense in advance of the publication of the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s decision that the court will indeed rule that international law broadly supports the Philippines’ contentions regarding the islands and waters in the South China Sea. Therefore, it is not surprising that Beijing has already rejected the court’s right to address the dispute.
“Should the court support Manila’s claims, it will likely embolden Vietnam to follow a similar course of action, and also push Beijing to react with counter-measures to challenge what it will view as a threat to Chinese sovereignty. In contrast, a ruling that supports China’s position, although unlikely, could cement Beijing’s claims to the entire South China Sea.”
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