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Corker Statement on Ruling in South China Sea Maritime Dispute

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today made the following statement after the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) issued a ruling that invalidates China’s expansive sea claims surrounding disputed areas of the South China Sea. In 2013, the Philippines challenged China’s attempts to establish control over an area encompassing nearly 90 percent of the South China Sea. The PCA settles disputes among states, state-entities, international organizations, and private parties consistent with international agreements.

“This ruling is a rejection of China’s aggressive attempts to control disputed areas of the South China Sea, and hopefully all parties will refrain from any actions that would undermine security and stability in the region,” said Corker. “In response, the United States should expand political, economic and security ties with our allies and partners and continue efforts to defend freedom of navigation and overflight through routine patrols in the East and South China Seas.”

The Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cyber Security will hold a hearing tomorrow on U.S. policy options to address China’s aggressive behavior in the South China Sea. Subcommittee chairman Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) will chair the hearing.