China to begin 3-day military drill in South China Sea

China will conduct a military drill in the South China Sea from Jul 19 to 21, state-run media reported on Monday (Jul 18) citing the Maritime Safety Agency (MSA).

The MSA, according to CCTV News, warned that entry to the exercise area will be prohibited for the duration of the exercise.

Tensions remain high in the region after the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled on Jul 12 that China has no legal basis to claim “historic rights” to islands in the South China Sea.

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Manila – which had lodged the suit against Beijing in 2013 – welcomed the ruling but China responded by saying it “does not accept and does not recognise” the decision.

“The award is null and void and has no binding force,” Beijing’s foreign ministry said on its website. “China neither accepts nor recognises it.”

Beijing “does not accept any means of third-party dispute settlement or any solution imposed on China,” it added, reiterating its long-standing position on the dispute.

China is dedicated to maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea but will not accept any positions or actions based on the outcome of the arbitration case over the dispute, President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday.

Beijing had refused to participate in the case, saying the tribunal had “no jurisdiction” over the issue.

Beijing claims most of the South China Sea, even waters approaching neighbouring countries, as its sovereign territory, basing its arguments on Chinese maps dating back to the 1940s marked with a so-called “nine-dash line”.

Source: CNA/Agencies/rw

Author: Hassan Khazaal

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