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South China Sea Ruling Anniversary Adds Pressure to ASEAN Gatherings

Protestors gathered outside the Chinese embassy in Manila on Wednesday, to mark the seventh anniversary of a ruling in favor of Philippine territorial claims in the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea. Image: Jam Sta Rosa / AFP

Protests in Manila this week marked the seventh anniversary of a Permanent Court of Arbitration tribunal’s finding in favor of a Philippine claim over a stretch of the South China Sea also claimed by China.

This comes as a week of ASEAN ministerial meetings are overshadowed by the danger of the South China Sea issue dragging the entire region into conflict. Manila is reportedly considering increasing its military budget to deal with Chinese ‘harassment.’ The Philippines has already moved to buy weapons systems from the U.S. and India.

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