South China Sea dispute: China and Philippines frictions explained – What is going on?


THE South China Sea is one of the world’s busiest waterways and subject to several overlapping territorial disputes. Here is the tensions between China and the Philippines explained – what exactly is going on?

The South China Sea disputes involve both island and maritime claims among several sovereign state within the region, namely China and the Philippines, but also Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. Annually, an estimated £2.65 trillion ($3.37 trillion) worth of global trade passes through the sea. So what’s the conflict between China and the Philippines?

In July 2016, an arbitration tribunal constituted under Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) ruled against the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC’s) maritime claims in Philippines v China.

The ruling essentially saw the Philippines alongside close ally US win, and China was told it has no historic title over the waters of the South China Sea.

But rather than teaming up with the US to enforce the ruling Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte walked the other way.

He sided with Beijing on the dispute, and sought a “divorce” from the US.