China has 'no historic rights' in South China Sea: tribunal

Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the United States Navy May 21, 2015.
PHOTO: Reuters

THE HAGUE - China has no legal basis to claim "historic rights" to islands in the South China Sea, an international tribunal ruled on Tuesday (July 12) in a bitter dispute that risks stoking further tensions in South-east Asia.

"The Tribunal concluded that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights within the sea areas falling within the 'nine-dash line'," the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration said in a statement.

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