Philippine Daily Inquirer
6:30 pm | Tuesday, September 18th, 2012
0 512 117
TAGAYTAY CITY, Philippines — The new official government map showing the South China Sea being renamed as the West Philippine Sea could be out in two weeks’ time, the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (Namria) said on Tuesday. John Fabic, Namria Information Management Department director, said the map would also show the extent of the country’s maritime borders based on its 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone (ECZ) under the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Law of the Sea. “We’ve seen the first draft. There’s a new appellation for that area. It could be out in two weeks,” Fabic said at a National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council conference. Fabic said the initial draft has been submitted to Malacañang for review. The new map was produced after President Benigno Aquino III last week issued an administrative order renaming the South China Sea as the West Philippine Sea. To demarcate the nation’s territory, Namria map experts also established the baseline around country for its exclusive economic zone. The map clearly shows that the Kalayaan islands (the portion of the disputed Spratly islands claimed by the Philippines) and Panatag shoal are well within the country’s ECZ, according to Fabic. However, he declined to say if the islets, shoals, and reefs claimed by the Philippines were also renamed. “We’ve seen the template but we also have to recall the old maps this would replace,” Fabic said. “Let’s wait for the announcement from the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) and Malacañang,” Fabic said. Aquino said the government would deposit a copy of the map and his order with the UN secretary general and notify relevant international organizations like the International Hydrographic Organization and the UN Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names. China faces hostility on claim to Spratlys
Beijing’s smile has faded in region
12:08 am | Monday, November 26th, 2012
7 2984 715
The Kalayaan island in the contested Spratly islands in the West Philippine Sea. AFP/Kayalaan Municipal office BEIJING—China is finding the once-friendly ground of Southeast Asia bumpy going, with anger against Chinese claims to disputed islands, once reliable ally Burma (Myanmar) flirting with democracy and renewed American attention to the region. The changing terrain for Beijing was on view last week at a conclave of East Asian nations in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Wen Jiabao, China’s lame-duck premier who usually exudes a mild, grandfatherly air, got into a sharp exchange over the contested West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) islands. The leaders of the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam reacted furiously when host Cambodia, an ally of China, suggested that all sides agreed not to bring outside parties into the dispute—a reference to the United States. President Aquino of the Philippines publicly rebuked Cambodian Premier Hun Sen, saying Association of Southeast Asian (Asean) leaders had no agreement not to “internationalize” the West Philippine Sea disputes with China. “The Asean route is not the only route for us,” Mr. Aquino said, indicating that the Philippines would pursue a resolution of its dispute with China in accordance with international law. “As a sovereign state, it is our right to defend our national interest,” he said. US President Barack Obama, buoyed by the first visit ever by an American leader to Burma, projected an image of a confident, friendly America, calling for a reduction in tensions and seemingly taking no sides. Beijing is struggling to find its feet as its own power grows, but the United States refuses to cede influence in the region, emboldening other countries not to fall in with the Chinese line. “The robust US presence and relatively disciplined and quiet diplomacy looked...