China says it is closing off a part of the South China Sea for military exercises this week, days after the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled against Beijing’s claim to ownership of virtually the entire strategic waterway, the Associated Press reports.
The maritime administration of Hainan province said Monday, July 18 that an area southeast of the island would be closed until Thursday but gave no details about the nature of the exercises.
China rejected the tribunal’s ruling in the case initiated by the Philippines and refused to take part in the arbitration. The tribunal ruled that China violated international maritime law by building up artificial islands that destroyed coral reefs and by disrupting fishing and oil exploration.
Six governments in all claim territory in the South China Sea.