Anthony Rix, Rear Admiral and Business Development and Board advisor at MAST, comments on China’s historical hold over South China Sea rejected by international court today:
“While it is understandable that the international community is nervous that today’s ruling could result in an increase in aggressive behaviour by navies and coastguards in the South China Sea, it is quite possible that through enhanced naval and coastguard presence in the area, the area could, in time, become safer for merchant shipping.
“The requirement for good navies and coastguards in the region has long been understood; countries like Indonesia now place a much higher priority on maritime affairs. This ruling does not provide any reason to change this approach and might actually encourage faster naval development.
“While China’s historic claims to the South China Sea (SCS) have been undermined, any retreat by China will further weaken the legitimacy of its claims. The Philippines will probably attempt to capitalise on the perception of a major legal victory, but as there is no international mechanism for enforcement and China massively out classes the Philippines military, force majeure rests with China.