A tribunal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea ruled this week in favor of a complaint by the Philippines, finding that China has no legal basis to claim sovereignty over contested shoals in the South China Sea between the two countries.
The ruling has been met with anger and defiance in China. Speaking to a delegation of European leaders on Tuesday, President Xi Jinping said the reefs have belonged to China since “ancient times.” The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that the tribunal’s ruling, “is invalid and has no binding force” and that, “China does not accept or recognize it.”
The editor-in-chief of Chinese state-aligned English language paper the Global Times, Hu Xijin, presents China’s point of view in this video produced by one of the country’s more prominent websites, Shanghai-based Guancha.cn. According to Jin Zhongwei, the site’s editor, the video has gone viral where the ruling against China, “widely seen as unfair, is turning even liberals into nationalists.” The court decision was welcomed by others, including the United States, which urged all countries to adhere to it.