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Renaming of South China Sea as West Philippine Sea draws some flak

(Xinhua)

08:37, September 20, 2012

MANILA, Sept. 19 (Xinhua)-- After the Philippine government formally named the western maritime area in the country, which is part of the South China Sea, as the "West Philippine Sea," the Philippines drew some flak, including those from local analysts.

According to the Administrative Order (AO) 29 signed by Philippine President Benigno Aquino III on Sept. 5, the West Philippine Sea includes the Luzon Sea as well as the waters around, within and adjacent to Nansha Islands, called "Kalayaan" by the Philippines, and Huangyan Island or "Bajo De Masinloc" used by the Philippines.

Aquino has ordered the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (Namria) to produce and publish charts and maps of the Philippines reflecting the "West Philippine Sea" in accordance with the AO.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has been instructed to furnish a copy of the order and official map to the secretary general of the United Nations and to notify other international organizations, such as the International Hydrographic Organization and the United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names.

But according to political analyst Alex Magno, he has a problem with AO 29.

In his column in one of Manila's leading dailies, Magno said that in his columns, he used South China Sea to refer to the general area where"we have problematic territorial issues" with China and other countries. "Now, I suppose, as an obedient citizen, I must use West Philippine Sea. That would confuse foreign readers. Better that than be condemned a traitor," Magno said.

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