Hague Ruling Could Spark China-Japan Row

Commentary | July 13, 2016

In an opinion piece for Al Jazeera, EWI Fellow J. Berkshire Miller disscusses how Bejing's loss in the South China Sea arbitration impacts its row with Japan in the East China Sea.

On July 12, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague issued its ruling on the high-profile case brought by the Philippines over its dispute with China regarding the right of Manila to exploit natural resources in the Exclusive Economic Zone extending from territory it claims in the South China Sea. The ruling awarded to the Philippines has been widely viewed as an objective an authoritative denial of Beijing's expansionist territorial claims in the South China Sea based on its so-called "nine-dash line".

But while tensions in the South China Sea have been building incrementally over the past several months, there should also be significant attention paid to the simmering row between Japan and China in the East China Sea. Tensions in the East China Sea are multifaceted and focus on more than just the territorial spat between Tokyo and Beijing over the disputed Senkaku islands, known as the Diaoyu islands in China. The two sides are also at loggerheads over resource issues in the East China Sea as Beijing continues to inch closer to Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone for natural gas exploration.

Click here to read the article on Al Jaezeera.