UN arbitration of South China Sea spat between Philippines and China: A roundup


A United Nations arbitration court is expected to issue a ruling in the coming weeks on a long-standing maritime dispute between China and the Philippines. Manila had initiated the proceedings in January 2013, arguing that Beijing’s claims over much of the South China Sea violated UN conventions.

The spat has become a semi-crisis in relations between China and the United States, a Philippine ally, threatening the larger peace and stability in the region.

The UN Permanent Court of Arbitration, which agreed to hear the case in October 2015, is expected to rule in favour of Manila. While the ruling is not binding, experts say it will have the potential for raising tensions, while not resolving the decades-old underlying sovereignty disputes.