By: Elena Grace Flores
China has already launched naval drills in the northern areas even before the verdict, while the US Pacific Command was seen deploying an aircraft carrier for flights to support “security” in the sea. Taiwan, which was another loser in the verdict as its claims are very similar to those of China, sent a warship on the sea to protect its claims.
Indonesia would also sharply strengthen security around its islands in the sea, where there have been clashes with Chinese vessels recently that drove its President Joko Widodo to inspect the disputed area on a war ship. China used deadly force to seize control of the Paracel Islands from South Vietnam in 1974, and Johnson Reef from a united Vietnam in 1988. China faced immediate pressure to abide by the ruling from Western powers, which insist they have legitimate interests in the dispute because of the need to maintain “freedom of navigation” in waters that host more than $5 trillion in shipping trade annually. This has prompted U.S. President Barack Obama to conduct talks with Vietnam.
The United States emphasised that China, as a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, should accept the verdict. “As provided in the convention, the tribunal’s decision is final and legally binding on both China and the Philippines,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters in Washington.Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop warned China there would be “strong reputational costs” for ignoring the ruling, as she called for Chinese island building to end; as reported by Yahoo News.