Namely, the US Department of State noted last weekend that breaching the tribunal decision that rejected China’s nine-dash line maritime claim would be against the law.

In fact, on July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration decided that there is no no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to a 'nine-dash line' in the South China Sea. It also held that the country had violated the sovereign rights of the Philippines.

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Commenting on the occasion, State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said that the Hague-based tribunal held that Chinese activities regarding the construction of artificial islands and the practices of Chinese fishermen are in breach of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) requirements for the protection of the marine environment.

As far as China is concerned, it claimed that it is a 'role model' in observing regional and international rules, saying that interests must be protected, but China is refusing to honor the arbitral ruling. What is more, China called US's position as having double standard, and being hypocritic.

The arbitral ruling is considered a significant victory for the Philippines, as well as the international community, as it indicates the triumph of the rule of law in one of the most significant water areas on Earth, the South China Sea.

However, despite the decision, former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario, believes that the problem is that the award has been shelved, which leads to more unlawful acts in the South China Sea.