PH Criticizes and Rejects China’s 2023 Map: Here’s Why

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ph criticizes and rejects china’s 2023 map here’s why

The Philippines has expressed strong criticism of China’s recently released “Standard Map,” which includes a newly expanded 10-dash line encompassing the entire South China Sea. This depiction asserts China’s territorial claims over the region, including areas within the Philippines’ maritime boundaries. 

The Philippines has rejected this map and its attempt to legitimize China’s claims, citing the 2016 Arbitral Award that invalidated China’s previous 9-dash line. The map’s implications extend to regional tensions and international law violations.

In 2016, the Hague tribunal invalidated China’s claim to the whole South China Sea; yet, despite the ruling, China’s actions in the region have continued, causing worry among neighboring countries. The Chinese Coast Guard recently fired water cannons on the Philippine Coast Guard ships in Ayungin Shoal, causing concern.

Contested Maritime Boundaries and China’s Assertiveness

China’s new map shows the expanded 10-dash line, incorporating disputed territories and waters within its boundaries. The Philippines has expressed strong condemnation against this move, explaining how it violates international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that was established years ago. 

The Philippines highlights that the 2016 Arbitral Award had invalidated China’s previous 9-dash line as unlawful and without basis.

The Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines has issued a press release statement regarding the situation and clarified that “The Philippines rejects the 2023 version of China’s Standard Map issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources of the People’s Republic of China on August 28, 2023, because of its inclusion of the nine-dashed line (now a ten-dashed line) that supposedly shows China’s boundaries in the South China Sea.” 

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Rejection of International Rulings

China’s failure to follow international law has exacerbated tensions and escalation in the South China Sea, as seen by hostile measures against Philippine warships. Their ongoing hostility, which includes stopping and harassing Philippine vessels, demonstrates a contempt for international law and accords, particularly in light of recent maritime disputes in the South China Sea. 

Despite Chinese President Xi Jinping’s and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s vows of improved bilateral relations, China’s actions have contradicted these claims. Recent events involving Chinese meddling with Philippine vessels highlight the difficulty of maintaining cordial relations in the midst of territorial disputes.

The Philippines is anticipated to issue a statement against China’s activity in the South China Sea during the upcoming 43rd ASEAN Summit in Indonesia, as they have had ongoing disputes with them in recent years. 

The declaration will address recent instances, such as China’s aggressive measures at Ayungin Shoal and the publication of a new map claiming nearly the whole South China Sea as its property. While the precise wording of the statement is still being worked out, the Philippines plans to express its concerns and seek a common stance on the issue within the ASEAN framework.

DFA Assistant Secretary for ASEAN Affairs, Daniel Espiritu, confirmed that efforts are underway to address the recent incident at Ayungin Shoal and China’s publication of a new map. The statement aims to highlight the regional concerns and promote consensus among ASEAN members.

While the Philippines is advocating for a statement, the process involves navigating the opinions and objections of the ten ASEAN member countries and external partners. Achieving consensus can be challenging, as any objection could hinder the issuance of a collective statement.

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