UNCLOS ruling on South China Seas: What happens next?

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The UN International Court of Justice in Netherlands’ The Hague delivered its much-anticipated verdict today, addressing Beijing’s controversial ‘Nine-Dash Line’ assertions over the South China Seas.

A Chinese coast guard vessel on its way to harass crabs near Scarborough Shoal

A Chinese Coast Guard vessel on its way to harass lobsters spotted near Scarborough Shoal

Since 1947, China has asserted its claims of full ownership over the vast expanse of ocean “since time immoral.”

The impending verdict has already enraged Beijing, and is expected to impact fishing and exploration rights in South East Asia, damage political relations and even threaten continued peace in the region.

Here are some of the immediate likely consequences:

    • After summoning the ambassadors of every major Western European nation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs learns they all left on holiday the night before
    • Calling the Northeast Hemisphere an “eternal part of China,” Beijing insists the UN should not intervene in internal disputes
    • All official PRC subscriptions to ESPN are immediately cancelled, then pirated
    • The website for Edam cheese crashes following multiple DDOS attacks
    • State media increases its Mad-o-Meter dial from “High School Dropout Called Clancy Attending Trump Rally” to “Lone Gunman in Jesus T-shirt Atop Water Tower”
    • Netflix signs exclusive distribution deal in exchange for producing 22-part series, Making of a Peacefully Rising Nation In Face of Constant US Provocation – on condition it doesn’t have to release any viewing figures (Beijing later reneges on deal)
    • After being discovered rifling through its law offices after dark, China’s Ambassador to the UN claims he’s merely conducting ‘freedom-of-navigation movements’
    • Thousands of puzzled American housewives report being door-stepped by bespectacled young Chinese, wishing to “explain real historical truth”
    • Discovered rifling through its law offices after dark, China’s Ambassador to the UN claims he’s merely conducting ‘freedom-of-navigation movements’
    • A proposed march in Washington is abruptly cancelled when overseas students run into a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally, and flee in panic
    • Xinhua writes, then quickly deletes, several dozen tweets
    • Due to a serious translation error, Nine Inch Nails are invited to headline a promotional concert for Beijing’s territorial claims to the South China Sea
    • After giving a friendly interview to the Global Times, a Minnesotan tourist is startled to find himself misquoted on the front page of every Chinese newspaper, condemning “Washington’s prancing imperialism”
    • President Xi Jinping announces he will build a wall of fishing nets around the South China Sea, and make Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, Brunei, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia pay for it

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