Taiwan rejects ruling on 'South China Sea' island of Itu Aba

By Reuters/J.R. Wu, Faith Hung   July 12, 2016 | 05:00 am PT
Taiwan rejects ruling on 'South China Sea' island of Itu Aba
Taiwan navy fast attack boats take part in a military drill outside a naval base in Kaohsiung port, southern Taiwan, January 27, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Pichi Chuang
Taiwan does not accept a tribunal's ruling on the 'South China Sea', claiming its sole holding in Spratly Islands and having "seriously impaired" its territorial rights.

The arbitration court in The Hague ruled that China has no historic title over the waters of the South China Sea (Vietnam's East Sea) and that it has breached the sovereign rights of the Philippines with its actions there, infuriating a defiant Beijing.

Taiwan, formally known as the "Republic of China", is also a claimant in the South China Sea (Vietnam's East Sea). The maps China bases its South China Sea claims on date to when Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalists ruled China before they fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war to Mao Zedong's Communists.

Manila had challenged the legality of China's claims to virtually the entire South China Sea (Vietnam's East Sea), in part by arguing that no reefs, atolls or islets in the Spratly archipelago can legally be considered an island, and therefore hold no rights to a 200 nautical mile (370 km) exclusive economic zone.

Itu Aba is the biggest feature in the Spratlys and the one some analysts believed had the strongest claim to island status and an economic zone. The Spratlys are also claimed by China, Vietnam and Malaysia while Brunei claims nearby waters.

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