China Pledges to Defend South China Sea Control
China pledged it would take all needed actions in order to uphold its authority over the South China Sea and declared its entitlement to impose an air defense zone over the area, after vehemently rejecting the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague's decision rebuking its claims to the disputed waters. The Chinese state media called the international court a “puppet” of outside forces following its ruling that China had violated the Philippine's sovereign rights by threatening its ships and intervening in its fishing zones and oil projects. Beijing promised to undertake all the needed measures to secure its territorial control and maritime rights according to a front-page report on the state's official People's Daily. The Philippines responded carefully to the decision released late Tuesday, calling for 'restraint and sobriety'. Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella reported that the mood at President Rodrigo Duterte's cabinet meeting held on Wednesday was “upbeat.”
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