They will refuse to recognize the ruling, but the real question is if the US and other major powers will go along with imposing sanctions.
This is about rule of law, and the treaty of the seas. China is not only pushing local fishermen from their traditional fishing areas, but has been destroying the ecology of the area to dredge up sand etc and build artificial islands, all while Obama watched.
Question: Why do the PC MSM describe this as land "reclaimation". These shoals and reefs are not land, and never have been. What is going on is habitat destruction in the EEZ of the Philippines.
Look at all the green protests on the habitat destruction: NOT. Nah, they are anti west, not pro mother earth.
from the Inquirer:
The court also cited how China destroyed reefs in the disputed waters through its illegal reclamation activities, and failed to prevent its fishermen from undertaking destructive methods of fishing and harvesting giant clams in waters beyond its EEZ.
This CSMonitor story tells the story of the reef destruction:
Chinese officials insist that, in ecological terms, they are doing no harm in the region, and describe the Spratly Island building boom as "environmentally friendly." Earlier this year, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that China’s island-building efforts in the Spratlys “strictly follow the principle of conducting green project and building ecological islands and reefs" and that "the impact on the ecological system of coral reefs is limited.”
yes, and if you believe that I know a bridge in Brooklyn you might want to buy.
but then there is this interesting tidbit:
But Prof. McManus told Time.com that this might be true only in the sense "the affected reefs were already scarred by giant-clam harvesting."
Giant Clams? Who's harvesting them? According to this Reuter's story, China...
On paper, this was forbidden, but as usual the Chinese looked the other way, and encouraged it to bolster their claims to the area.
What used to be really good coral reefs in there have definitely been decimated over the last two to three years," Lin said.... "I think the Hainanese have essentially taken out all the giant clam shells from the South China Sea, dead or alive," said Ed Gomez, a senior adviser at the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute.
and now, of course, since the reefs are already damaged, they can claim: What ecological damage?
Of course, the backstory is not about fishing: It is about pushing around their neighbors to get land that the aggressive Ming emperors once ruled. VietNam is the real loser in this, since they were once ruled by China and have gone to war to protect their borders. But China is also pushing against India, Korea, and Japan.
And then there are other issued: The reported natural gas under the reefs, of course.
This is not just about letting the Philippines and VietNam keep their economic zone free from Chinese exploitation: It is about controlling the sea lanes to Japan and Korea that go through what is traditioinally recognized as international waters.