China claims it has historic right of ownership to almost the entire South China Sea, despite a 2016 international arbitration ruling saying Beijing's claim had no legal basis under international law. But the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei also have overlapping claims to parts of it. DWF's Head of Transport, Jonathan Moss, has explained China does not have the right to claim islands in the waters as its own.
When asked whether China does have a right over the disputed waters, Mr Moss told Express.co.uk: "Not according to the judgement by the permanent court of arbitration in The Hague.
"They derived the judgement from the provisions of UNCLOS which is the statue which was brought into force in December, 1982.
"Certaintly if you look at the judgement which is over 100 pages long, it suggests that China doesn't have the right to do that."
Mr Moss also noted there is a real risk of further conflict in the waters.
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South China Sea: Beijing has been warned it does not have the power to claim the disputed waters
South China Sea: China claims it has historic right of ownership to almost the entire waters
He said: "I think there's definitely a risk of all-out conflict.
"There have been pockets of conflict before; going back about 20 years there was a naval battle where three Chinese vessels were engaged with the Philippines Navy gunboats.
"That was in the Spratly Islands.
"There's definitely the risk of isolated incidents and as we know, a string of isolated incidents can lead to major conflict.
South China Sea: The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims
"It should be on the radar as a danger."
It comes as two US Air Force B-1B bombers took off from Guam and headed west over the Pacific Ocean to the hotly contested South China Sea.
The sleek jets made a low-level pass over the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and its escorting fleet, which was exercising nearby in the Philippines Sea, according to images released by the US military.
The operation was part of the Trump administration's intensifying challenge to China's ruling Communist Party and its sweeping territorial claims over one of the world's most important strategic waterways.
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South China Sea map
While senior Trump officials launch diplomatic and rhetorical broadsides at Beijing, the US Defense Department is turning to the firepower of its heavily armed, long-range bombers as it seeks to counter Beijing's bid to control the seas off the Chinese coast.
Since late January, American B-1B and B-52 bombers, usually operating in pairs, have flown about 20 missions over key waterways, including the South China Sea, the East China Sea, and the Sea of Japan, according to accounts of these flights from US Air Force statements and official social media posts.
These missions, military analysts say, are designed to send a crystal-clear signal: The United States can threaten China's fleet and Chinese land targets at any time, from distant bases, without having to move America's aircraft carriers and other expensive surface warships within range of Beijing's massive arsenal of missiles.
In this response to the growing power of China's military, the Pentagon has combined some of its oldest weapons with some of its newest: Cold War-era bombers and cutting-edge, stealthy missiles.