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South China Sea FAQ ep10: Why is Huangyan Dao Chinese territory?


06-26-2016 15:00 BJT

Full coverage: South China Sea Is Indisputable Part of China

The Philippines has repeatedly claimed that Huangyan Dao, also known as Scarborough Shoal, is within its territory. But China insists that its sovereignty over Huangyan Dao is an indisputable fact. Wu Shicun, president of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, explains why Huangyan Dao is part of China's territory, in the perspectives of history and law.

Why is Huangyan Dao, known as Scarborough Shoal, Chinese territory?

Here are what Wu said:

China’s sovereignty over Huangyan Dao is based on the fact that this island was discovered and named by China first; It is also under China’s effective jurisdiction and management.

The discovery of Huangyan Dao by China can be traced back to the 13th Century during the Yuan Dynasty.

Since the ROC Period, islands in South China Sea, including Huangyan Dao, have been named 3 times.

The island was named Huangyan Dao in 1935 and renamed into Minzhu Jiao in 1947. In 1983, the China Committee on Geographical Names used Huangyan Dao as the standard name, and Minzhu Jiao as an alternative name.

Huangyan Dao has been under China’s effective jurisdiction and management ever since its discovery.

Huangyan Dao and its surrounding waters have been China's traditional fishing grounds since ancient times.

Starting in 1997, the Philippines revealed its intention to occupy China's Huangyan Dao.

During that period, the Philippines repeatedly dispatched warships and naval troops to the island and destroyed sovereignty monuments and other facilities built by China on the island.

China took measures to expel Filipino militants.

In 2009, the Philippines amended the Philippine Territorial Sea Baselines Act to include Huangyan Dao in its territory, but official maps of the Philippines published in the past, have all marked Huangyan Dao as outside their boundary of Philippine territory.

The Treaty of Paris between Spain and the US in 1898, the Treaty of Washington between Spain and the United States in 1900, and the Anglo-American Treaty in 1930, had clearly defined that 118 degrees east longitude is the western limit of Philippine territory. Huangyan Dao is outside it.

Therefore, from this perspective, China's sovereignty over Huangyan Dao is an indisputable fact and the claim to Huangyan Dao by the Philippines is groundless and illegal.

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