Scarborough shoal standoff: A timeline


MANILA, Philippines—Ships from the Philippines and China have been in a standoff over the Scarborough Shoal since April 8, after the Philippine Navy found eight Chinese fishing vessels there.

Below is a historical timeline of the conflict:

Scarborough Shoal Historical Timeline

First posted 7:03 pm | Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

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  • nestleraisinets

    oudated na ung china’s claim sa image. China is claiming the Philippines as we speak…

  • Bon Jovi

    盆さん は ちかく が だいきらい です。

  • Meow Ming

    pretending to be american but really a chinese agent.

  • Shirley


  • Shirley


    The territory of the Philippines is set by a series of international treaties due to its special history. Zhang Haiwen, deputy director with the China Institute for Marine Affairs, told the newspaper that all the related international treaties, including the Treaty of Paris (1898), the Treaty of Washington (1900) and the Treaty between Great Britain and the United States (1930) have stated clearly the west limit of the Philippine territory is 118 degrees east longitude, while Huangyan Island, located 117 degrees 48 minutes east longitude, is outside this limit.

    Moreover, the 1946 Treaty of General Relations between the United States of America and the Republic of the Philippines, the 1952 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty, the 1961 Republic Act No.3046 and the 1968 Republic Act No.5446 have reaffirmed the legal effects of the above-mentioned treaties and once again expressively defined the Philippine territorial limits which never included Huangyan Island.


    “During a rather long period, the Philippine legal documents, official papers and national maps never involve Huangyan Island,” said Li Guoqiang. Under the Philippines domestic laws and regulations, including the 1935 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, Huangyan Island is outside the territory of the Philippines and even the baseline points and baseline of the Philippine territorial waters have never touched upon Huangyan Island.

    Philippine maps published in 1981 and 1984 also indicate that Huangyan Island is outside the country’s territory. Until 1997, the Philippines never challenged China’s jurisdiction over Huangyan Island and repeatedly stated that Huangyan Island was not part of its territory.
    The documents issued by the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority of the Philippines on Oct. 18, 1994, and by the Philippine Amateur Radio Association to the American Radio Relay League on Nov. 18, 1994, both confirmed that the Philippine border and sovereignty was stipulated by the Article 3 of the Treaty of Paris (1898) and Huangyan Island is outside of Philippine territory.

    Philippines’ territorial cliam is untenable

    Until 1997, the Philippines never disputed China’s jurisdiction and development of the island. But recently the Philippines has played tricks and triggered disturbances, as well as claiming the island as theirs. The Philippines says it is the nearest country to Huangyan Island, so it claims the island belongs to it on this premise. “This theory based on geographic distance for territorial sovereignty has absolutely no basis in international law and judicial practice,” according to Zhang Haiwen, deputy director of China Institute for Marine Affairs under State Oceanic Administration.

    “There is no such principle in international law that determines territorial ownership by geographic distance,” Zhang said, noting that many countries around the world have territories which are far away from their mainland and much closer to other countries.
    “For example, the British Channel Islands are less than 12 nautical miles off the French coastline at their closest proximity. Some French territorial islands stretch across the Atlantic, lie close to the Canadian coastline in north America and even in the Pacific. But none of these islands have territorial disputes due to geographic distance,” said Zhang.
    “The world map would be totally redrawn if the Philippines’ theory was upheld,” Zhang said.
    The Philippines claims that Huangyan Island is in the country’s 200-nautical miles-wide Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and says its claim is in line with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

    Liu Feng, a researcher with National Institute for South China Sea Studies, said that the UNCLOS has neither the articles to change a country’s land territory, nor does it have the authority to allow a country to take another country’s territory by the right of the EEZ and the continental shelf.

    Li Hongyun told the newspaper that, as a basic principle clearly stated by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, a country must have sovereignty over the land before it claims sovereignty over the adjacent sea waters.

    The Philippines claimed sovereignty over the waters before making a claim for the land, which was obviously wrong, Li said.

    The Philippines claims that the United States controlled Huangyan Island, thus it has inherited the island’s sovereignty and jurisdiction from the US military.
    “US forces in the Philippines used Huangyan Island as a shooting range, but the US has never claimed sovereignty over the island. How could the Philippines inherit it? It’s ridiculous, ” said Zhang Haiwen.

    “All the Philippine rhetoric is untenable in terms of international law,” said Liu Feng. “So the Philippines wants to take the initiative to stir things up by sending warships to harass Chinese fishermen in Huangyan Island waters and escalate tensions.”

    Who is the troublemaker

    Huangyan Island, a group of reefs and islets about 550 sea miles away from the Hainan Island in south China, has long provided a perfect shelter for fishing ships from nearby islands and the Chinese mainland.

    “For many generations we have fished in this water,” said Ke Weixiu, a fisherman and native from the port of Tanmen in Hainan.

    However, since the 1990s, Chinese fishermen have repeatedly been harassed by Philippine warships.

    According to the fishery department under the Ministry of Agriculture, four Chinese fishing boats were intercepted by the Philippine navy in the waters around the island from January to March in 1998 and 51 fishermen on board were detained for about six months.

    In May 1999, a Chinese fishing boat was rammed by a Philippine warship and sunk, according to the ministry.

    From 2000 to 2011, at least 32 fishing ships, with 439 fishermen on board, were chased, robbed or detained by the Philippine navy.

    The latest event occurred in April. Xu Detan, captain of one of the 12 fishing ships harassed, has not recovered from the shocking encounter with the Philippine navy even three weeks after returning home.

    “A Philippine warship blocked our entry to the lagoon where we docked our ships,” Xu recalled. “We had no choice but to wait inside as they were armed.”

    On April 10, nine Philippine soldiers, on an inflatable, boarded Xu’s ship with seven of them carrying rifles.

    “They turned off the radio and satellite positioning system on my ship, searched the whole ship and took pictures while the 16 members of the crew, including me, were standing on the deck under the hot sun for four hours.”

    Two Chinese Marine Surveillance ships conducting routine patrols in the area later came to the fishermen’s rescue and helped Xu and his colleagues return home safely.

    “Usually a fishing trip will take 50 days but this time we were forced to cut it short to 25 days,” he said.

    • NUTZZZ

      Wu Mao….

    • Mao Mao Chamn


      Your posting about how panatag shoal is allegedly owned by china will help china in the international tribunal.  Now, can you give your evidence to your government so that your government could use your posting during articulation of ownership to the international tribunal.  The Philippine government will be happy to see the chinese respondent about this matter in the international tribunal.  Thank you.

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