Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei. (AP)
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An international court said it would deliver a hotly anticipated ruling in the Philippines' case against China over the South China Sea on July 12, drawing an immediate rebuke from Beijing, which rejects the tribunal's jurisdiction.The United States, which is a close ally of the Philippines and is concerned about China's expansive South China Sea claims, reiterated its backing for The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration and urged a peaceful resolution of the dispute.Manila is contesting China's historical claim to about 90 percent of the South China Sea, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes. U.S. officials are worried China may respond to what is widely expected to be a negative ruling for Beijing by declaring an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the South China Sea, as it did in the East China Sea in 2013, and by stepping up its building and fortification of artificial islands.In Beijing, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian repeated the standard line when asked if China would set up an ADIZ in response, saying that while China had such a right, any decision would be made based on the threat level.It has largely avoided specific comments on how it might respond to the arbitration ruling.
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