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APAC

Factbox: Hague tribunal says no legal basis for China claims in South China Sea

Protesters display placards during a rally by different activist groups over the South China Sea disputes, along a bay in metro Manila, Philippines July 12, 2016. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

HONG KONG/AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A five judge tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on Tuesday issued their award in a suit brought by the Philippines disputing Chinese actions in the South China Sea.

Here are some key elements from Tuesday’s ruling.

** That China has no “historic title” over the waters of the South China Sea.

** Specifically, that the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea supercedes China’s “Nine-dash line” - its 69-year-old claim to roughly 85 percent of the South China Sea.

** That none of the features of the Spratly Islands off the Philippines’ west coast give China any right to an exclusive economic zone.

** That China has interfered with traditional Philippines fishing rights, notably at Scarborough Shoal.

** That Chinese oil exploration near Reed Bank violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights.

** That China damaged parts of the ecosystem of the Spratly Islands with activities such as overfishing and creating artificial islands.

** That China’s actions have aggravated its conflict with the Philippines at a time it was meant to be resolving them.

Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Lincoln Feast

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