The Philippines are challenging China before a court at the Hague claiming that China’s “nine-dash-line” is not legitimate. The nine-dash-line is a U-shaped boundary dividing Chinese and Philippine naval territory. The dispute has been marked by episodes of encroaching on the boundary by both Chinese and Philippine vessels. The Philippine foreign minister argued that China’s encroachment is driven primarily by its rapidly increasing number of vessels.
China’s claim to the territory is supported by its historical claim to the naval territory, based on discoveries by Chinese explorers around 2,000 years ago. China also quarrels with what they claim to be illegal occupation of Chinese islands by other countries. Moving forward, it will be interesting to see China’s continued relationships with its neighbors both diplomatically and economically.
Further reading: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/03/philippines-sues-china-over-sea-claims-nine-dashed-line–201433055112597830.html