China bluntly defies decision of Hague Tribunal

After an international tribunal invalidated Beijing's claims to the South China Sea, Chinese authorities have declared in no uncertain terms that they will be ignoring the ruling.

The Philippines brought the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, objecting to China's claims to maritime rights in the disputed waters. The tribunal agreed that China had no legal authority to claim the waters, and was infringing on the sovereign rights of the Philippines.

The tribunal's rejection of China's "nine-dash line" is legally binding, but essentially impossible to enforce.

And China certainly won't be voluntarily cooperating.

"We do not claim an inch of land that does not belong to us, but we won't give up any patch that is ours," the official Chinese newspaper The People's Daily wrote on Wednesday. "China will take all necessary measures to protect the inviolability of the territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests."

China's vice foreign minister, Liu Zhenmin, spoke even more bluntly.

"The Chinese government's stance on the ruling is clear ... it's nothing but a scrap of paper," he said, according to the Financial Times. "It will not be enforced.

"I hope everybody puts the ruling in a paper bin or on the shelf, put it in the archives and that's it," he said. "Eventually we need to go back to negotiation."

Liu said Beijing had the right to establish an air defense identification zone over the disputed waters, if it so chose. He also suggested there would be "tangible benefits" to the Philippines if the two countries sat down at the negotiating table, The Associated Press reports.

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