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China has plenty more trouble apart from an open defiance of their so-called sovereignty in their absurd 9-dash line claim which does not exist in the first place.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague said a UN panel had ruled Thursday (Oct. 29) that it has jurisdiction over the case filed by the Philippine government against China in the South China Sea, dealing Manila a victory in the first-round issue of admissibility.

The announcement, titled “TRIBUNAL RENDERS AWARD ON JURISDICTION AND ADMISSIBILITY; WILL HOLD FURTHER HEARINGS” and dated Oct. 29, said the “Tribunal has concluded that it is able to decide that it does have jurisdiction with respect to the matters raised in seven of the Philippines’ submissions,” but that it had asked Manila to clarify and narrow one submission.

The first part of the announcement said: “The Tribunal constituted under Annex VII to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in the arbitration instituted by the Republic of the Philippines against the People’s Republic of China has issued its award on jurisdiction and admissibility. This arbitration concerns the role of ‘historic rights’ and the source of maritime entitlements in the South China Sea; the status of certain features in the South China Sea and the maritime entitlements they are capable of generating; and the lawfulness of certain actions by China in the South China Sea that are alleged by the Philippines to violate the Convention,” referring to UNCLOS.

The tribunal said it was accepting seven of the Philippines’ submissions, but concluded “that its jurisdiction with respect to seven other Submissions by the Philippines will need to be considered in conjunction with the merits.”

The Tribunal will also “convene a further hearing on the merits of the Philippines’ claims” and, in consultation with the Parties, has provisionally set the dates for such merits hearing.

Like the Hearing on Jurisdiction and Admissibility held last July, the hearing on the merits will not be open to the public, but the Tribunal said it will consider requests from interested States to send small delegations of observers.

“The Permanent Court of Arbitration which acts as Registry in the case, will issue further Press Releases upon the commencement and closing of the merits hearing. The Tribunal expects that it will render its Award on the merits and remaining jurisdictional issues in 2016.”

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

1. No rejection of arguments by PH, and it ruled with unanimous agreement by the tribunal, with the others to be determined next year if it will be under their jurisdiction.
2. The Philippines has the upper hand early in the arguments.
3. This is an embarrassment to China as more people are seeing their claims as hogwash. Their counter-papers bent on throwing the case of PH out has been all REJECTED.

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