Nearly a week after losing its territorial claims in the South China Sea, China is closing part of the region for military exercises this week.
China issued the warning for the exercises on Monday. It said an area located southeast of the island of Hainan would be off limits between Tuesday and Thursday.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled that China has “no historic title” to the South China Sea. And, the court ruled that China had violated the Philippines’ rights by interfering with that country’s fishing and oil exploration in the area. The decision was a ruling on a complaint filed by the Philippines in 2013.
China refused to participate in the case. China said the court had no right to decide the matter. The Chinese have also denounced the ruling.
The United States warned China to “avoid provocative statements or actions” following the ruling from The Hague.
China has taken part in the seizure and rebuilding of land throughout the South China Sea in recent years. It has turned reefs into artificial islands that can support military bases. China has built the islands and ignored claims and protests by Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines.
The court also ruled that China’s rebuilding efforts have “caused severe harm to the coral reef environment.”
Close to $5 trillion in global trade passes each year through the South China Sea. The sea is home to rich fishing grounds and a vast wealth of oil, gas and other natural resources.
I’m Jonathan Evans.
The staff at VOA News wrote this story. Jim Dresbach adapted it for Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.
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Words in This Story
reef – n. a long line of rocks or coral or a high area of sand near the surface of the water in the ocean
seizure – n. the act of taking control of something especially by force or violence