The Strategic Implications of the Tribunal’s Award

For The National Interest, I assess the strategic implications of the tribunal’s award.

I stress three implications:

  1. The award greatly narrows the scope of maritime entitlements that China (and others) can claim in the Spratlys to a 12 nautical mile territorial sea from naturally formed land features.
  2. The award sets precedent for how to determine whether a naturally formed land feature is an island that can generate a 200 nautical mile territorial sea, which would restrict the scope of EEZs that many other states can claim.
  3. The award by definition could not address much less resolve the most important issue, which is the competing claims to territorial sovereignty in the South China Sea.

Read the full piece here.