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China has adequate legal basis for sovereignty over Huangyan Island (2)

By Zhong Sheng (People's Daily)

09:38, May 10, 2012

Second, the Philippines had never raised objection about China's sovereign jurisdiction and develop of the Huangyan Island before 1997 and even repeatedly said that Huangyan Island is outside the territory of Philippines. On February 5, 1990, the Philippine ambassador to Germany made it clear that according to the Philippines Mapping and Resource Information Authority, the Huangyan Island is not within the Philippine territory in a letter to Dieter, a German radio amateur. In documents sent to the American Amateur Radio Association on Oct. 18, 1994 and Nov. 18, 1994, the Philippines Mapping and Resource Information Authority and Philippine Amateur Radio Association had confirmed that the borders and sovereignty of Philippines is defined in the third clause of the Treaty of Paris on Dec. 10, 1898 and the Huangyan Island is located outside the borders of Philippine territory.

Third, the Philippines claims that, since the Huangyan Island is within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone, the Philippines has the territorial jurisdiction of the island and therefore should have the territorial sovereignty of the island. Actually, this claim is not supported by any international laws, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Land dominates the sea is a fundamental principle of the International Law of the Sea. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea allows coastal countries to establish their exclusive economic zones of 200 nautical miles wide, but coastal countries do not have the right to infringe other countries' inherent territorial sovereignty by taking this term as the basis. The idea and action of trying to use the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to change the sovereignty of a territory of a country violate tenets and principles of international laws, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and will not succeed. The Philippines' ocean jurisdiction should not infringe China's territorial sovereignty over the Huangyan Island, let alone allowing the Philippines to invade and occupy China's territory of the Huangyan Island.

Fourth, the Philippines' claim over the Huangyan Island because the island was a target range of the U.S.-Philippines military drill is even more baseless. It was completely illegal that the Philippines and United States took the Huangyan Island as a target range of their military drill without China's permission. An illegal action does not generate rights. That is a fundamental principle of international laws. In addition, the United States has many overseas military bases and has carried out military drills and trainings in many places of the world, but the United States cannot put forward territory claims for this reason, and it never did so.

Fifth, the Philippines' claim over the Huangyan Island because it is close to it is also not supported by international laws. International laws and practices have already proved that the geographic position is not a principle for deciding the territorial ownership of a place. There are countless cases that a territory of a country is far from the country but close to another country. If doing things according to the Philippines' “geographic position theory,” the political map of the world would be re-drawn and the whole world will turn into a total mess.

In a word, the Philippines' any claim over the Huangyan Island is illegal and invalid. The Huangyan Island is an inherent territory of China and China has the indisputable territorial sovereignty over the Huangyan Island. The Philippines should return to its original standpoint of admitting and respecting China's territorial sovereignty over the Huangyan Island.

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