International Court of Justice, Hague, Netherlands
International Court of Justice, Hague, NetherlandsReuters

A United Nations International Tribunal will hand down a ruling on Tuesday in a dispute over islands in the South China Sea, which has caused tensions in South East Asia. Philippines had challenged China's claims over the strategic use of the disputed territories. 

The world's oldest international arbitration tribunal, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) will issue a written decision at around 11 am local time, Straitstimes reported.
Manila had brought up the case against Beijing about three years ago. It had asked the court to find out if Beijing's claims to most of the territories in the region were valid or not.

Beijing, angry, following Manila's move, said it would not comply with the tribunal's ruling as the tribunal has "no jurisdiction" over the issues, the Indian Express reported. "An award from the tribunal that rejects some of China's more dubious claims would provide support for the mainstream views of other states in the region," Cecily Rose, Assistant Law professor of the Public Internal Law at Leiden was quoted as saying by the Publication.

China is bound to comply with the ruling, but if it fails to do so, then there is no enforcement mechanism which Manila could turn to. The judgment comes against the backdrop of military brushes between Asia's largest economy and Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan, who are believed to hold untapped oil and gas reserves.

The U.S. on Friday had urged both the parties to comply with the rulings and has also urged the claimants to avoid provocations.

"Whatever the outcome, the case will not contribute to improved relations between China and other claimants in the South China Sea," Frans-Paul van der Putten, senior researcher at think-tank Clingendael was quoted as saying by AFP.

The Philippino Foreign Secretary softened his stance on China and offered to share natural resources with the country. However, China's state-run media on Friday announced that Beijing would not take a single step back in the waterways.

The sea's shipping lanes connect East Asia with Europe and the Middle East. Over 4.5 trillion euros in ship-trade passes through it every year.