Angry China warns of sea conflict

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Taiwan's United Daily News said in its editorial that the "unwise" decision would put Beijing and Taipei on "the same side" over the South China Sea disputes, even though the United States has always been leading the arms supplier to Taiwan. The order came hours after the Permanent Court of Arbitration found China's - and therefore Taiwan's - claims to much of the area have no legal basis.

China warned its rivals Wednesday, July 13, against turning the South China Sea into a "cradle of war" and threatened an air defense zone there, after its claims to the strategically vital waters were declared invalid.

The spokesperson said that Pakistan opposes any imposition of unilateral will on others, and respects China's statement of optional exception in light of Article 298 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, UNCLOS.

"The ruling now establishes better conditions that enable countries to engage each other, bearing in mind their duties and rights within a context that espouses equality and amity", Aquino said.

What were the tribunal's findings?

In a separate written report submitted to the Legislative Yuan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged that Taiwan be included in multilateral talks on dispute settlement in the South China Sea.

The tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, rejected China's claims in a landmark ruling that also found the country had aggravated the seething regional dispute and violated the Philippines' maritime rights by building up artificial islands that destroyed coral reefs and by disrupting fishing and oil exploration. In a government white paper published on Wednesday, China also said its fishing boats had been harassed and attacked by the Philippines around the disputed Spratly Islands.

China refused to accept or participate in the arbitration, which was initiated unilaterally by the Philippines.

China set up an ADIZ over the East China Sea in 2013, prompting an outcry from Japan and the United States, but the zone has not been fully enforced.

It also announced that the Navy would deploy a Kang Ding-class frigate to patrol the South China Sea tomorrow - one day ahead of schedule - to ensure stability in the area and protect its territory.

"The Philippines has distorted facts, misinterpreted laws and concocted a pack of lies, in an attempt to deny China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea", it said.

That must be the main hope: that the court's rulings usher a period of negotiations, rather than hostilities.

"The waters of the South China Sea are about to get a whole lot more turbulent over the next few months", Storey told AFP.

The Philippines wasn't the only big victor in a legal decision on rights to the resource-rich South China Sea, according to experts.

The envoy blamed Washington's pivot to Asia under President Barack Obama for increased tensions.

China had boycotted the hearings, saying the tribunal did not have jurisdiction to decide on the matter.

China refused to take any part in the proceedings and said that it would not "accept, recognise or execute" the verdict. It's a foundation to maritime trade and commerce globally, and so to ignore it would be a serious worldwide transgression. It remains to be seen, however, how far Duterte can stray from Manila's previously critical stance, given his country's growing nationalist sentiment against China's actions.

Gomez reported from Manila, Philippines.

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