Saturday, June 28, 2014

Palace welcomes statement of U.S. Ambassador regarding new Chinese map

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 28): Palace welcomes statement of U.S. Ambassador regarding new Chinese map

Malacanang welcomed the statement of US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg who said China’s ten-dash line map has no basis.

"Ganyan din po ang aming paniniwala and we welcome the statement from Ambassador Goldberg," Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.

"Adding another dash to the nine-dash line does not add any weight of legitimacy to its claim and for that particular reason, we have strongly emphasized that we have pursued the arbitration case before the international court," he added.

The Philippine government is also strongly advocating the finalization of the Code of Conduct on the South China Sea, he added.

The Palace official said the foreign affairs department is also looking into the new map released by China and mulling the filing of a new diplomatic protest.

"We will certainly support the position taken by our foreign affairs department. It is also good to note that talagang very consistent ang suporta ng ating international community rito, on our emphasis on the rule of law. And having all these arbitrated and decided on the basis of international law," he added.

China has published this week a new map of the entire country including the islands in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) saying the move is to “better show” its territorial claim over the region.

The new Chinese map shows China’s claim over the South China Sea by marking ten dash lines around the region just off the coasts of Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines.

The Philippines filed an arbitration case before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) challenging China's claim in the West Philippine Sea.

The region, believed to be rich in oil and natural gas and a vital shipping route, is becoming a flashpoint to several countries with conflicting claims in the area.

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