China, like all empires, has been testing the limits of its reach.
On their side of the world they rule with impunity. However, as their influence and interactions have grown, they are now subject to the voices of an international tribunal known as, The Hague.
The nation has been exerting its might on the island nation of the Philippines. This week, The Hague ruled that this was illegal for China to be doing. They [China] immediately rejected this ruling, largely because the tribunal has no way of enforcing its rulings.
The Philippines obviously side with The Hague, and would prefer their island nation remain autonomous of China’s imperialism. Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay had this to say of the matter,
“The Philippines strongly affirms its respect for this milestone decision as an important contribution to ongoing efforts in addressing disputes in the South China Sea.”
Why is China concerned with making territorial claims so far from its mainland? Like any modern nation it sees the economic opportunity available to it from multiple streams such as fishing, energy resources, and shipping lanes. And many of China’s neighbors argue that its power and influence will give them an unfair advantage over other countries (Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia) also making the same territorial claims.