The lawsuit was filed in 2013, a year after China actually took control of the Scarborough Shoal atoll, located 140 miles from the Philippines and, within its 200-mile exclusive economic zone, according to Manila.
At the time, Philippino Navy ships detained eight Chinese fishing vessels which Manila claimed were involved in poaching in the area, something that prompted the Philippines to lodge the lawsuit.
The document specifically points to Beijing publishing a South China Sea map with the so-called U-shaped line which covers almost 90 percent of the sea area. The lawsuit questions whether this interpretation is in line with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
If The Hague court decides that China violates international law, the criticism from the international community will inevitably intensify. However, Beijing is unlikely to adhere to any decision that will infringe upon its interests, something that Manila will surely use to score points against Beijing for ignoring decisions by international institutions even on minor issues.
How to fight a war:— Eric Lawton (@Eric0Lawton) 20 июня 2016 г.
Canada vs Denmark, Hans Island. pic.twitter.com/fiz8NpfMOd
Meanwhile, there are hundreds of simmering territorial disputes across the world with some of them grabbing the global headlines, including the spat between China and Japan over the chain of uninhabited Diaoyu/Senkaku islands, and others which are rarely mentioned in global media.
In this regard, it is worth mentioning the squabble between Canada and Denmark over Hans Island, an uninhabited speck of rock in the Arctic Ocean. The island is 0.5 square miles, or 1.3 square kilometers.
In the early 1970s, the two countries agreed on the demarcation of maritime borders in the Arctic, but remain at odds over the status of the tiny island.
The conflict was raised to a new level in 1984, when the Danes left a bottle of schnapps at the foot of the flagpole with a note that read "Welcome to Danish land!" Shortly after, they received a symmetrical response in the form of Canadian whiskey. Since then, the two NATO countries have been fiercely struggling for the empty island, not forgetting to leave each other "gifts" at every opportunity.