The Permanent Court of Arbitration for UNCLOS in The Hague has thrown out the validity of China’s nine-dash claim, effectively sending a strong message that the Philippines has rightful jurisdiction in the contested Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the West Philippine Sea, which China is now determined to be ursurping.

As expected, China slammed the ruling, calling it short of tyrannical, and condemned the entire complaint, swearning never to recognize it despite being a permanent member and signatory of UN and UNCLOS, respectively.

They did not participate in the arbitration, even when asked.

One year after it held its first round of hearings on Manila’s complaint, the 5-man arbitration tribunal on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea unanimously issued a finding in favor of the Philippines.

Despite the victory, it cannot be used as leverage or a tool of coercion to expel China or its structures in the contested area, as it had no power to enforce or compel the ruling.

However, with the victory compared to David against Goliath, it now gives antecedent for other aggrieved ASEAN nations to file similar complaints against China.

China now faces international scrutiny with the setback in their part.