On Tuesday a tribunal in the Hague will deliver an eagerly awaited legal ruling on the South China Sea. Five judges will rule on the status of several contested areas, and they could deliver a blow to China’s claim to sovereignty over the entire South China Sea. The tribunal can’t decide who owns what – but it is expected to rule on whether any of the features are legally defined as islands under international law.
As our correspondent Jonah Fisher in Manila explains, that in itself has implications for who has the right to the South China Sea’s water and resources.
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