China’s claim over sea ‘indisputable’ | Global News
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China’s claim over sea ‘indisputable’

/ 07:08 PM September 13, 2012

AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—China on Thursday said the Philippines’ move renaming South China Sea to West Philippine Sea would not make a difference to its “indisputable sovereignty claims” over the area.

“The action of the Philippine side will not change the fact that China enjoys indisputable sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea including Nansha Islands and Huangyan Island, and their adjacent waters,” Hong Lei, spokesman of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a statement.

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In his statement, Lei argued that the name South China Sea had long been a geographic name universally recognized by the international community, and that the name was widely accepted by countries all over the world and by international organizations such as the United Nations.

China issued the statement a day after President Aquino announced that he had signed an administrative order (AO) renaming the South China Sea waters within the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) West Philippine Sea.

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The order said these areas included the Luzon Sea as well as the waters around, within and adjacent to the Kalayaan Island Group and Bajo de Masinloc, also known as Scarborough Shoal.

In a press briefing Thursday, Raul Hernandez, spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), said that at an appropriate time, it would submit to the United Nations and other relevant organizations copies of the administrative order and maps showing the West Philippine Sea for purposes of being internationally recognized.

“At an appropriate time, when the maps and charts are ready and all documentations have been done, we will submit these to the United Nations and other relevant international organizations. The idea is to inform them, and have the West Philippine Sea included in international maps,” Hernandez said in a press briefing Thursday.

The West Philippine Sea encompasses the Philippines’ 370-kilometer EEZ, which includes the Spratly Islands (which the Chinese call Nansha Islands) and the Scarborough Shoal (which the Chinese refer to as Huangyan Island), which are both being claimed by China and some other Southeast Asian countries.

China claims the entire West Philippine Sea while the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan all claim parts of it.

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TAGS: Conflict, Foreign Affairs and International relations, Philippines, South China Sea, West Philippine Sea
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