Among other moves and countermoves involving the PRC’s attempts to seize and annex the South China Sea, here at the expense of the Republic of the Philippines, the latter haled the former into arbitration under the UN’s Law of the Sea Convention. The proximate case was the PRC’s military aggression against the RP over Scarborough Shoal, a collection of islands and rich fishing waters well within the RP’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
After first denying the legitimacy of arbitration at all, now the PRC is arguing that the arbitration panel has no jurisdiction in the matter because the dispute involves the PRC’s “territorial sovereignty over several maritime features in the South China Sea, which is beyond the scope of the Convention.”
Sure. The PRC has claimed the Sea, therefore the Sea is the PRC’s. By law. Because the Law of the Sea Convention doesn’t interfere with sovereign territory.