Philippines: Ancient Maps Undercut China's South China Sea Claims

Philippines: Ancient Maps Undercut China's South China Sea Claims

On September 11 the Philippines put “dozens of ancient maps on display” which they say show that China’s territorial claims have not historically included the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea.

China “seized control” of Scarborough Shoal in June 2012 and has not allowed Philippine fishermen to get close to it since.

According to Reuters, Philippine officials say the maps show “that for almost 1,000 years…China’s southernmost territory was always Hainan island,” which is just off China’s southern coast. Philippine Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said, “We should respect historical facts, not historical lies.” And he said the maps show the facts.

However, China now claims “nearly the entire South China Sea.”

On August 30 Breitbart News reported that China was reclaiming four reefs in and around the Philippines’ Kalayaan Islands. These include the Mabini (Johnson South) Reef, “Burgos (Gaven) Reef, Kennan (Chiqua) Reef, and Calderon (Cuarteron) Reef.” The Philippine Star quoted an unnamed security official saying, “While our political leaders are busy squabbling, out there in the West Philippine Sea we are slowly losing our very territorial domain to China’s creeping invasion.”

On September 9, Breitbart News reported that China’s reclamation had taken the form of dredging up tons of rocks and sand to construct islands on top of the reefs. And beyond that, to building factories and a runway suitable for the take-off and landing of military aircraft.

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