Philippines takes China to arbitration over South China Sea claims
"If China does participate, it can challenge the questions that can be addressed. The scope of jurisdiction in this particular provision is limited and cannot include issues like sovereignty over the rocks.
Even if China participates and loses, Beijing can refuse to comply and there will be no penalties or police to enforce the ruling. Global public opinion could however be affected. Manila’s legal challenge, therefore, must be seen in a broader political context. "
Prof Simon Tay is Chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA).