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China Voice: "West Philippine Sea" re-naming is politically short-sighted

By Wang Aihua (Xinhua)

08:59, September 14, 2012

BEIJING, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Despite China urging the Philippines to ease tensions over Huangyan Island and promote bilateral ties, the country has officially named maritime areas near its coast, including part of China's territories in the South China Sea, the "West Philippine Sea."

The move by the Philippines is indicative of nothing but the country's political short-sightedness.

On Wednesday, the Philippine government released an administrative order signed by President Benigno Aquino III, declaring that South China Sea waters off the country's west coast would be named the "West Philippine Sea," including the waters around, within and adjacent to the Nansha Islands, known as "Kalayaan" in the Philippines, and Huangyan Island, or "Bajo de Masinloc" in the Philippines.

By making the declaration at a time when China is busy dealing with Japan's so-called "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands, the Philippines may gain some superficial pleasure for the time being, but the move will only further damage bilateral ties while offering no substantial benefits.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) issued a response to the naming, saying the "South China Sea" is a name commonly recognized by the international community and widely accepted by countries across the globe and international organizations such as the United Nations.

Hong Lei, spokesman for the MFA, said the Philippines' move cannot change the fact that China claims indisputable sovereignty over islands in the South China Sea, including the Nansha Islands and Huangyan Island, as well as their surrounding waters.

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