At the WSJ, "China Digs In Heels After Tribunal Rules Against Sea Claims":
SHANGHAI—This was the humiliating result that China feared most: A small country, the Philippines, took on and comprehensively defeated the aspiring regional hegemon in an international court of law. Beijing can’t back down.More.
In the aftermath of an unambiguous and unanimous legal verdict that strikes down Beijing’s historic claims to the South China Sea, rebukes it for turning coral reefs into island fortresses through massive dredging and sides with bullied Philippine fishermen, the Chinese government’s legitimacy is on the line.
China’s response will be guided by the reactions of a nationalistic public and a conviction that the judges in The Hague who delivered their stinging judgment were pawns in a U.S. conspiracy to contain China’s rise. China will now turn its wrath on America. Before the verdict, the China Daily denounced the case as a “farce directed by Washington.” On Tuesday, Xinhua News Agency used similar language, calling it a “farce directed with meticulous care by outside forces.”
At a time of rapidly rising tensions, the immediate danger is that miscalculations or accidents could draw China and America into conflict.
Ahead of the decision as China’s denunciations of The Hague tribunal reached a crescendo, China held live-fire drills off the Paracels, a group of South China Sea islands it controls. China is “not afraid of trouble,” President Xi Jinping asserted. Earlier, America sent an aircraft-carrier battle group into the region.
On a map, the “nine-dash line” that the tribunal has invalidated looks like a cow’s tongue hanging from China’s southern coast and encompassing almost the entire South China Sea. In the eyes of the Chinese public, it is a proud marker of their country’s spreading power and prestige. It is stamped into every new Chinese passport. Likewise, the artificial islands have become prominent emblems of China’s resurgence.
For a country that regularly invokes the sanctity of international law, citing its own victimization in the era of arrogant imperialism, the outcome is a moral challenge, as well as a legal one. Two years ago, Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged a United Nations gathering to “reject the law of the jungle where the strong do what they want and the weak suffer what they must.”...
And fuck China, the biggest fucking crybabies.