Friday, September 14, 2012

China: Renaming of South China Sea won't change sovereignty

China on Thursday scoffed at the Philippines' renaming the South China Sea to the West Philippine Sea as it would not affect China's sovereignty over the area.

Furthermore, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei pointed out that the international community had previously acknowledged the name South China Sea for the area.

"The move will not change China's sovereignty over the Nansha islands, Huangyan Island and their surrounding waters," Hong said at a regular news briefing, according to an article posted late Thursday on the Chinese government's web portal.

Nansha Islands is also known as the Spratly Islands, Huangyan Island is China's name for the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal.

The Spratlys have been the subject of a dispute between China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, and Taiwan. The Philippines and China have been locked in a territorial dispute over the Scarborough Shoal area since April.

Earlier this week, President Benigno Aquino III signed an administrative order formally renaming the South China Sea the West Philippine Sea.

The Philippine government said it will provide the United Nations with a copy of the order and a revised official map of the Philippines.

Taiwan had already said that it does not recognize the Philippines' renaming.-GMA News (September 14, 2012 12:49AM)

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