WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Parties involved in the South China Sea dispute should recognize the binding nature of the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration's decision, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Tuesday.
"This tribunal ruling is final and binding on both parties," Earnest stated as quoted by the White House pool.
The US Department of State said the ruling is important for peaceful resolution of territorial disputes in the area.
A number of disputed islands, including the Paracel Islands and the Spratly Islands, are located in the South China Sea. Beijing’s territorial claims to the Spratly Islands, known as Nansha Islands in China, which are believed to be rich in oil and gas reserves, run against those of the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam.