Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio on Wednesday denounced the new official “standard” map released by China, which showed its extended claims in the South China Sea (SCS).
Carpio said the 2023 version of the map issued during Beijing’s annual National Surveying and Mapping Promotion Day, now has a ten-dash line from the previous nine, covering the areas Beijing considered as part of its territory.
“So kinlaro nila that the lines in the South China Sea, whether nine or ten, constitute their national boundary. So if it’s your national boundary, everything within that is your national territory. Klaro ngayon, they clarified it that way,” said Carpio in JP Soriano’s report on “24 Oras”.
(They are now clarifying the SCS, whether nine or ten, constitute their national boundary. So if it’s your national boundary, everything within that is your national territory.)
“I think the intention is to say that Taiwan is part of China,” Carpio added.
Beijing claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea (WPS) as it ignores an international ruling that invalidates its massive claims.
Senator Francis Tolentino decried Beijing’s claims, saying: “The latest map of the People’s Republic of China is no longer nine-dash line, it is ten-dash line. Sampu na po yung guhit hanggang doon sana Taiwan Strait, mahaba na masyado.”
“So iba na —with all due respect, hindi na pinag-uusapan ‘yung nine-dash line, ten-dash line na,” Tolentino added.
(With all due respect, we’re now talking about ten dash and not nine-dash line.)
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Beijing should respect the 2016 arbitral ruling awarded to the Philippines.
“They should respect the 2016 arbitral ruling na kung saan sinabi na itong nine-dash line is illegal. It has no basis and that they should, in fact, follow the rules-based international order,” AFP chief General Romeo Brawner said.
GMA Integrated News sought the comment of the Chinese Embassy but it has yet to respond.
For their part, the National Security Council (NSC) and the National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea said they are now asking the Chinese government to clarify the map.
“If the map is officially confirmed to have been issued by People’s Republic of China then the NSC will recommend to the DFA the issuance of a strong diplomatic protest over the issuance of this map because this infringes upon the sovereignty the sovereign rights and the territorial integrity of the Philippines," said NSC Assistant Director-General Jonathan Malaya.
Carpio said the Chinese map would not change the ruling of the Hague-based court.
“This new map cannot change a period, comas or a single letter or number of the arbitral award. The Arbitral Award is there and cannot be changed by this map,” he said.
Several countries have rejected China’s claims including India which filed a “strong protest” against the map showing the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh and the Aksai Chin plateau as part of Beijing’s official territory, according to a Reuters report.—Sundy Locus/LDF, GMA Integrated News