Beijing: On Monday, officials said that Beijing will close off access to part of the South China Sea for military drills. After an international tribunal ruled against the China’s claims in the waters.
On its website, China’s maritime administration said that an area off the east coast of China’s island province of Hainan will host military exercises from Tuesday to Thursday. Administration added that entrance was prohibited.
Last week, The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague ruled that there was no legal basis for China’s claims to much of the sea, embodied in a “nine-dash line” that dates from 1940s maps and spreads to the other countries’ coasts.
The European Union talked on the subject at a regional summit this week with President Donald Tusk. The EU told reporters that the EU will continue to support of upholding international law and also said that it has full confidence in the court of Arbitration and the decision of the court.
Diplomats said that China pressured countries of the ASEAN bloc of Southeast Asian nations not to issue a joint statement on the ruling.
State media reported that China held military drills in the South China Sea just days before the international arbitration court ruling. China has built reefs in the waters into artificial islands capable of military use.
Last week The China’s maritime administration said that four out of five lighthouses built atop islands and reefs in the sea have been activated and a fifth would be put into use soon.