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The Nikkei View

South China Sea must be governed by transparent laws

Beijing raises tensions by ignoring tribunal ruling and pushing territory claim

Protesters gather outside the Chinese Consulate in Makati, Metro Manila, in July 2015 to express their anger over China's territorial claims in the South China Sea.    © Reuters

Five years have passed since an international tribunal ruled that China's claim to sovereignty over the entire South China Sea had no legal basis. Beijing has ignored the ruling and instead strengthened its effective control over the area. Challenging the legal order through force is unacceptable.

Areas of the South China Sea are also claimed by Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. Around 1950, China began to assert its own claim, demarcated by the "nine-dash line." In recent years the country has stepped up its land reclamation and military construction projects, and it has escalated its shows of force. All of this is to extend China's effective control to its south.

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