Today marks the seventh anniversary of an Arbitral Tribunal constituted under the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention firmly rejecting the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) expansive South China Sea maritime claims, including any PRC claim to the area determined by the Arbitral Tribunal to be part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, as well as any resources therein. Under the terms of the Convention, this ruling is final and legally binding on the Philippines and the PRC.
The United States reaffirms its July 13, 2020, policy regarding maritime claims in the South China Sea. We continue to urge Beijing to comport its maritime claims with international law as reflected in the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention; cease its routine harassment of claimant state vessels lawfully operating in their respective exclusive economic zones; halt its disruption to states’ sovereign rights to explore, exploit, conserve, and manage natural resources; and end its interference with the freedoms of navigation and overflight of states lawfully operating in the region.
We will continue working with allies and partners to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific, one that is at peace and grounded in respect for international law.