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Europe, China leaders discuss tribunal's ruling

Journalists gather outside the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, ahead of a ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on the dispute between China and the Philippines over the South China Sea. China has intensified the drumbeat of its opposition to an international tribunal's ruling expected Tuesday that could threaten its expansive claims in the South China Sea. AP/Mike Corder

BEIJING — European Council President Donald Tusk said in Beijing that visiting European leaders have discussed an international tribunal's South China Sea ruling with their Chinese counterparts.

He said Wednesday that he hoped the ruling would now be used "to create a positive momentum in finding a solution to the dispute in the South China Sea."

Tusk said Europe would continue to speak out on upholding international law, including when it comes to the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Seas, or UNCLOS.

The case before The Hague tribunal, filed by the Philippines, had centered on the applicability of China's vaguely drawn "nine-dash line" South China Sea boundary under UNCLOS.

The EU has "full confidence" in the arbitration panel and its procedures, Tusk told reporters.

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