Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Beijing vows to prosecute 'trespassers' in South China Sea

China has sent a warning to foreigners who enter contested areas of the South China Sea -- stay away or you'll be prosecuted.

On Tuesday, the Chinese Supreme People's Court issued a regulation on judicial interpretation saying there was a "clear legal basis for China to safeguard maritime order, marine safety and interests, and to exercise integrated management over the country's jurisdictional seas." China's top court did not reference the Hague ruling, but said that "judicial power is an important component of national sovereignty."

China fiercely guards what it regards as its territorial waters, attacking and arresting foreign fishermen who work near islands controlled by Beijing.
The direction could mean Filipino fishermen operating in waters the UN tribunal ruled belong to the Philippines could be apprehended by Chinese vessels and be prosecuted in direct contradiction of the Hague ruling.

In recent months, Beijing has reacted angrily to U.S. and Australian freedom of navigation operations in the region, scrambling fighter jets and boats and denouncing the nations' navies as "threatening Chinese sovereignty."