11:29 GMT30 November 2020
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    The ruling by the UN court of arbitration rejecting Chinese claims to territory in the South China Sea is critical to US national security interests in the Pacific, US Senator Cory Gardner said in a congressional hearing on Wednesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, the permanent court of arbitration in The Hague ruled that under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) there was no basis to China’s claim to extensive territories in the South China Sea along the nine dash line.

    "This ruling is important to our national security for several reasons," Gardner said in a Senate hearing on US policy in the region. "First, the South China Sea is one of the world’s most strategically important commercials waterways… second, the ruling reinforces the rights of our military to operate freely in the region."

    Gardner, chairman of the Senate subcommittee on the Asia Pacific, noted the decision is "very important," and "could reshape the Asia Pacific region and global security in general."

    The decision on the South China Sea favored the position of US regional ally, the Philippines.

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    Tags:
    national security, The Hague, South China Sea, China, US
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