Taiwan backs China by sending frigate to South China Sea following international ruling

Taiwanese Itu Aba island. Photo: Google Maps

Taiwan has sent a stealth frigate to patrol the Spratly Islands region in the South China Sea following the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling in the maritime jurisdiction case brought against China by the Philippines.

A Kangding-class frigate was sent to the region on July 13 with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen attending the send-off, Taiwan Today reported.

The South China Sea ruling made July 12 by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague concluded that China’s territorial claims in the region have no legal grounding.

The court made a differentiation between rocks and islands and low-tide elevations declaring that only naturally formed islands qualified for a 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone. This means that most of the rocks and artificially-built islands upon which China’s so-called nine dash line was based on did not give China jurisdiction over the territory.

Both China and Taiwan rejected the ruling declaring the tribunal illegal.

Taiwanese Minister of Foreign Affairs David Tawei Lee said the ruling was unacceptable to the Republic of China (Taiwan) and was not legally binding on the nation.

“This so-called Arbitral Tribunal was born out of the unlawful behavior and illegal claims of the Philippines. Its existence is illegal, and whatever ruling it makes is null and void, with no binding force,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said at a regular press conference.

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