Why China cares about the South China Sea


China’s territorial claims are driven by a sense of historical victimisation.

Salvatore Babones is a specialist in global economic structure.

The judges have spoken: China has no legal basis for its claims to sovereignty over the South China Sea. China’s “nine-dash line” territorial claims, which cover most of the South China Sea, will not be recognised under international law.

Vietnam and the Philippines have historically administered most of the rocks and reefs in the South China Sea, but in recent years China has aggressively pursued territorial claims in the area.

Since 2012 China has engaged in large-scale land reclamation efforts on islands it controls.

South China Sea: China dismisses Hague court ruling

The July 12 ruling from the Permanent Court of Arbitration resolves a case brought against China by the Philippines under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. There are no enforcement provisions in this convention, so there is nothing to prevent China from continuing to expand its presence in the South China Sea.