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Crossing the (nine-dash) line

Crossing the (nine-dash) line

As expected, an international tribunal has ruled for the Philippines and against China in its claim to have historic rights to 90 percent of the South China Sea, where territory disputes with a number of nations — including Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan — threaten to trigger military action and jeopardize the more than $5 trillion in trade that traverses those waters each year. And, as promised, China has disavowed the decision, asserting that the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, Netherlands, has no authority here.

Indeed, there is no mechanism to enforce the unanimous ruling, which was handed down Tuesday. And Beijing is hardly alone in its...

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