Five years ago last Thursday, an international tribunal dismissed China’s claims to sovereignty over vast expanses of the South China Sea.
Sadly, the decision has had little impact on Chinese behavior. Beijing did not renounce or trim its claims to comport with the ruling and its island-building campaign continued unabated.
The aftermath of the South China Sea case provides unmistakable insight into China’s view of how the world should work. Beijing believes that there should be no checks on the pursuit of its national interests and that in Asia, at least, its preferences should take precedence over all other considerations.