The Philippines has called on Beijing to respect a ruling by a UN-backed tribunal that rejected China’s territorial claims to most of the South China Sea. On Tuesday, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said China’s claims to the strategically important waters had no legal basis, giving a small victory to the Philippines, Indonesia, and other Asian nations that have previously sought more control over the sea. The tribunal’s ruling triggered some aggressive posturing by China, which claims the ruling was biased and threatened to introduce an air defense zone to give it authority over foreign aircraft in the area. The U.S. has reportedly sent out diplomatic messages to embassies throughout Asia in an effort to soothe tensions over the ruling.
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