Metro Manila, Philippines — The Philippines filed a protest against China’s issuance of the 2023 version of its standard map showing its extended claim in the South China Sea.
Department of Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Daniel Espiritu confirmed in a Thursday briefing that Manila filed a diplomatic protest regarding the issue.
Beijing released this week its updated standard map showing 10 dashes that form a U shape, claiming nearly the entire South China Sea as part of its territory. The area overlaps with the exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of the Philippines as well as those of Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, and Indonesia
In a statement on Thursday, the DFA said “[t]his latest attempt to legitimize China’s purported sovereignty and jurisdiction over Philippine features and maritime zones has no basis under international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).”
It emphasized that the 2016 Arbitral Award has already invalidated Beijing’s claims over the disputed waters covered by the previous nine-dash line.
This ruling said the “maritime areas of the South China Sea encompassed by the relevant part of the ‘nine-dash line’ are contrary to the Convention and without lawful effect to the extent that they exceed the geographic and substantive limits of China’s maritime entitlements under the Convention,” the department added.
The DFA calls on China to act responsibly and to abide by its obligations under the UNCLOS and the 2016 arbitral ruling.