Is it West Philippine Sea or South China Sea?

By | 7:53 PM Leave a Comment
Is it West Philippine Sea or South China Sea?
It can get a tad confusing.

South China Sea is the dominant term used in English for the sea, and the name is a result of early European interest in the sea as a route from Europe and South Asia to the trading opportunities of China. In the sixteenth century Portuguese sailors called it the China Sea (Mar da China); later needs to differentiate it from nearby bodies of water led to calling it the South China Sea.

In September 2012, then Philippine President Benigno Aquino III signed Administrative Order No. 29, mandating that all government agencies use the name "West Philippine Sea" to refer to the parts of the South China Sea within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone, and tasked the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) to use the name in official maps.

This leaves us one question. When do we use the names West Philippine Sea and South China Sea?

In a media interview with ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC), Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio differentiates the two names.

"West Philippine Sea" is not the same as "South China Sea," he said in emphasis.

"The West Philippine Sea refers to the body of water consisting of the Philippines' territorial sea, exclusive economic zone, and extended continental shelf."

"We do not claim the West Philippine Sea as covering the entire South China Sea."

"We can continue to use the name West Philippine Sea because we are referring only to the waters within our jurisdiction."

"If you’re talking about the entire dispute of China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, you have to use 'South China Sea,."

"If you’re talking about the dispute between China and the Philippines, you use 'West Philippine Sea."

Crystal clear.


FOR YOUR INFO: 
On 12 July 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruled in favor of the Philippines against China over territorial disputes in the South China Sea. The court unanimously ruled that China has "no historical rights" based on the so-called "nine-dash line" map. The PCA also ruled that Chinese reclamation activity in the south China sea has also caused an irreparable damage to the environment and asked the Chinese government to stop further activities in the South China Sea.





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