China's Xinhua: Court has issued 'ill-founded award' on S.China Sea

Reuters

Posted at Jul 12 2016 04:56 PM | Updated as of Jul 12 2016 09:55 PM

BEIJING - (UPDATE) China's state-run Xinhua news agency called as "null and void" a decision by the international arbitration court, which ruled in favor of the Philippines' arguments for maritime entitlements over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

In one of its reports, Xinhua also called the court as having "no jurisdiction."

"The tribunal handling the South China Sea arbitration case unilaterally initiated by the former Philippine government issued its final award on Tuesday, amid a global chorus that as the panel has no jurisdiction, its decision is naturally null and void," Xinhua said in a report, minutes after the tribunal issued the decision.

Earlier, Xinhua said the "law-abusing tribunal" hearing a case about the disputed South China Sea had issued an "ill-founded award."

It initially gave no other details.

China has boycotted the hearings at the Permanent Court of Arbitration, saying it does not have jurisdiction over the dispute.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang, asked how China would be getting the ruling, said it would have nothing to do with the court.

"We won't accept any of their so-called materials, no matter what they are," Lu told reporters.

The ruling stands to ramp up tensions in the region, where China's increased military assertiveness has worried its smaller neighbors and is a point of confrontation with the United States.

China claims most of the energy-rich waters through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. Neighbors Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims.

The United States and China regularly conduct military exercises in the area and have regularly accused each other of militarizing the region.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)