top Beijing official has accused UN judges of accepting cash from the
Philippines after they ruled against their territorial claims to
disputed islands in the South China Sea.
China expressed outrage over the decision handed down in The Hague.
Following the decision, Liu threatened declaring an air defence zone
over the waters if it felt threatened.
The Philippines, under a UN treaty governing the seas, had sought
arbitration in 2013 on several issues related to its long-running
territorial disputes with China. In its ruling Tuesday, the tribunal
found China’s far-reaching claims to the South China Sea had no legal
basis and that Beijing had violated the Philippines’ maritime rights by
building up artificial islands and disrupting fishing and oil
Liu said: ’If our security is being threatened, of course we have the
right to demarcate a zone. This would depend on our overall assessment.
We hope that other countries will not take this opportunity to threaten
China and work with China to protect the peace and stability of the
South China Sea, and not let it become the origin of a war.’
In 2013, China set up an air defense identification zone over disputed
islands in the East China Sea, requiring all aircraft entering the area
to notify Chinese authorities or be subjected to ’emergency military
measures’ if they disobey orders from Beijing. The U.S. and others
refuse to recognize the zone.
Six regional governments have overlapping claims in the South China Sea,
waters that are rich in fishing stocks and potential energy resources
and where an estimated $5 trillion in global trade passes each year.