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While providing a legal resolution to the Philippines’ case against China, the PCA ruling ultimately resolves nothing. If anything, regional tensions have increased due to the ruling, and while welcomed by most regional states, instability will increase as states digest the outcome and consider how best to shape their responses to China in light of the ruling.
Will China have been expecting it or something similar? Probably, but they will learn to live with it though we should expect more robust rhetoric from Beijing as this development unfolds.