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Court ruling on South China Sea final: US

Wed 13 Jul 2016, 10:20:41
United States said a court ruling that China has no historic title over the waters of the South China Sea should be treated as final and binding and should not be a reason to raise tensions. This was stated by White House spokesman Josh Earnest aboard Air Force One yesterday.
US State Department spokesman John Kirby called the ruling an important contribution to the shared goal of a peaceful resolution to disputes in the South China Sea. He said the ruling is final and legally binding and urged all claimants to avoid provocative statements or actions.
A Foreign Ministers' meeting July 21-26 of the Association of South East Asian Nations in Laos will be the first opportunity for claimants to discuss the ruling. US Secretary of State John Kerry and China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi were also expected to attend.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague announced its ruling yesterday that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within much of the South China Sea, which has been subject to territorial disputes by several countries. China, which boycotted the hearings at the court, vowed again to ignore the ruling and said its armed forces would defend its sovereignty and maritime interests.
China claims most of the energy-rich waters through which about five trillion US dollar in shipping trade passes every year. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims.
Daniel Kritenbrink, US President Barack Obama's top Asia policy advisor, said that Washington had no need or interest in stirring tension in the South China Sea as a pretext for involvement in the region. He, however, said that that the US will not turn a blind eye to this important waterway in return for cooperation elsewhere in the world.
The presumptive Republican Party and Democratic Party nominees to run in the US Presidential election have also called on countries to respect the court's decision.
Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on all parties to resolve the disputes in a peaceful and amicable manner through dialogue and in conformity with international law.25 killed as two trains collide in Italy.

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