The Hague ruled on Tuesday that China’s claim to the near entirety of the South China Sea is invalid. The case was brought on by the Philippines who, along with numerous other nations, have had their territorial claims in the region challenged by China recently.
The ruling by The Hague has already been dismissed by China, who refuse to acknowledge it and claim that it goes against international law. It is unlikely they face any immediate repercussions as there is no way to enforce The Hague’s rulings.
China claims historical right to nearly 80% of the South China Sea, which sees nearly $5 trillion (USD) in trade pass through it every single year, and has recently been strengthening its hold on the region by creating military bases on artificial islands.
China has acted aggressively towards foreign vessels within the regions that it claims ownership of. Just one day before the ruling it came out that two Chinese vessels reportedly rammed a Vietnamese fishing boat causing it to sink. The Chinese vessels appeared to hang around after the fact in order to prevent rescue of the crew.