This post was edited by sansukong at 2012-5-7 08:30|
Manila seeks to ‘lay claim’ over Huangyan with new name
Global Times | May 07, 2012 01:25
By Zou Le
Chinese experts said the Philippines' recent move to rename a Chinese island involved in a month-long territorial spat is apparently aimed at asserting its claim over the area.
Philippines presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda announced in a press conference Thursday that they prefer to call this area Panatag Shoal, which is known as Huangyan Island in China, the Manila Bulletin reported.
Lacierda explained that the change is "for brevity" reasons. Other names of the shoal previously used by the Philippine government are Scarborough Shoal and Bajo de Masinloc.
"Scarborough Shoal is a name that was originally used by the US, so the Philippines felt it was necessary to change the name to a local expression to assert its territorial claim over the area," Zhuang Guotu, director of southeast Asian studies at Xiamen University, told the Global Times.
China and the Philippines have been caught up in a standoff over the ownership of Huangyan Island since last month after Philippine authorities tried to arrest Chinese fishermen in the area.
China's foreign ministry could not be reached for comment yesterday. In its last press briefing Friday, spokesman Liu Weimin reiterated that Huangyan is an inherent part of China's territory and the surrounding waters are historical fishing areas for Chinese fishermen.
Lacierda also said on Thursday that the Philippines would bring the dispute before an international tribunal.
"Territorial disputes are usually lodged by both countries and the international tribunal is unlikely to accept complaints brought only by one side," Zhuang said.
A commentary by Victor N. Arches II, published on April 28 by Manila Standard Today, said "the Scarborough Shoal does belong to China which discovered it and drew it in a map as early as 1279" while the official maps the Philippines used to claim the area were dated 541 years later.