No Advantage. Only Losses.
China risks being cast as a "rogue state". The occasion is the dispute over the Spratly Islands. China is riding roughshod over its neighbours--taking on the mien of a bully. It is demonstrating, either in ignorance or in deliberate intent, that it is not committed to the rule of (international) law.
A UN international court has ruled in favour of the Philippines.
In the U.N. tribunal’s ruling, China’s claims to virtually the entirety of the South China Sea were dismissed by the 5-member tribunal as having no historical basis. It was also determined that the multiple artificial islands that have been built by and used as bases by the Chinese military do not constitute territory entitled to zones of economic exclusivity. Rather, they were found to be in violation of the sovereignty of the Philippines. [Epoch Times]China did not like the judgment, so it attacked the integrity of the court. It said that the court was stacked against China; it was made up of judges hailing out of Europe. Therefore, the decision was clearly part of a western plot. This is the sort of thing one would have expected from Cuba (in former days) or more recently, from North Korea.