TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan said Tuesday it does not accept a tribunal’s ruling on the South China Sea, saying the decision on Itu Aba, Taipei’s sole holding in the disputed Spratly Islands, had “seriously impaired” its territorial rights.
The arbitration court in The Hague ruled that China has no historic title over the waters of the South China Sea and that it has breached the sovereign rights of the Philippines with its actions there, infuriating a defiant Beijing.
Taiwan, formally known as the “Republic of China”, is also a claimant in the South China Sea. The maps China bases its South China Sea claims on date to when Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists ruled China before they fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war to Mao Zedong’s Communists.
Manila had challenged the legality of China’s claims to virtually the entire South China Sea, in part by arguing that no reefs, atolls or islets in the Spratly archipelago can legally be considered an island, and therefore hold no rights to a 200 nautical mile (370 km) exclusive economic zone.
Itu Aba is the biggest feature in the Spratlys and the one some analysts believed had the strongest claim to island status and an economic zone. The Spratlys are also claimed by China, Vietnam and Malaysia while Brunei claims nearby waters.
Reporting by J.R. Wu and Faith Hung; Editing by Nick Macfie