China re-draws map; PH digs in



Amid its continuing territorial dispute with its neighbors in South East Asia, China has updated its old map by including 130 islands and islets in the South China Sea.
Sinomaps Press chief editor Xu Gencai told Xinhua News Agency on Saturday that Beijing decided to come with a new official map to inform Chinese nationals on China’s territory, safeguard China’s marine rights and interests and manifest China’s political diplomatic stance.

“The new vertical maps have marked clearly the major South China Sea islands and demonstrated their geographic relations with surrounding island countries as well as surrounding islands and islets,” Xu said.
The new vertical-format maps of China, published by Sinomaps Press, featured more than 130 islands and islets in the South China Sea, including the islands and waters that other countries such as the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia also claim.
The bottom-left corner of the new China map, meanwhile, illustrated the Diaoyu Islands, which the Japanese claims as their own and calls Senkaku.
The map showed Diaoyu’s position in relation to other Chinese islets in the mainland and Taiwan.
Raul Hernandez, the spokesman for the Foreign Affairs Department, however, has yet to issue an official statement on Beijing’s latest move.
China’s National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation (NASMG) said in a statement that the 130 islands and islets in the South China Sea were not featured on old China maps.
The old maps were printed horizontally and featured only the three major islands of Xisha (Paracels), Zhongsha (Macclesfield Bank) and Nansha (Spratlys).
“These (new maps) were illustrated in the bottom-right corner at half the scale used for the Chinese mainland,” the editor of the new maps Zhou Beiyan said.
The new maps would be distributed to the public by the end of January, the NASMG said.
As this developed, the country’s defense experts said Manila planned to develop its military bases and other facilities to support the deployment of its naval forces and the establishment of air assets in the West Philippine Sea.
The military said these plans should contribute to enhancing the defense of islets and reefs within the country’s territory against possible intrusion by foreign forces.
They added that the plans to develop military bases were needed deter aggressive posturing by foreign military elements in the West Philippine Sea,  in relation to the growing importance of maritime trade, energy deposits as well as fishery and marine resources inside the country’s 200 exclusive economic zone.
Western Command Chief Lt. Gen. Juancho Saban recently said that the structures that will be put up in Kalayaan Island and in the highly-disputed Panatag Shoal would help underscore the country’s territorial claims.
Saban said the Defense Department has plans to beef up its military capability by procuring naval and air assets  worth P75 billion in the next five years as part of the military’s modernization efforts.
Also,  the military has earmarked P1.2 billion to procure a Hamilton Class Navy ship from United States as part of its objectives to strengthen the Philippine Navy’s presence in the West Philippine Sea.
The government had said that maritime security was a major concern by defense and the military to address non-traditional issues such as maritime terrorism, smuggling, piracy, human and drug trafficking.
These developments were meant to also safeguard the country’s maritime territories, as China continues to press its claim over virtually the entire West Philippine Sea, including the coastal waters of neighboring countries, citing “historical inheritance” and the nine-dash line that was contained on ancient Chinese maps.
The Philippines had said that China’s claim was excessive and was contrary to the provisions in the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea or Unclos.
The Philippines has insisted that its sovereignty and ownership extends to its 200 nautical mile EEC.
Meanwhile, China is reportedly speeding up the drafting of a new maritime regulation, in the wake of Vietnam’s creation of its own sea law,  which states that parts of the Paracel and Spratly islands in the South China Sea falls under Hanoi’s jurisdiction.
The new maritime law, according to National Oceanic watchdog chief Liu Cigui, would China settle conflicts over disputes in the South China Sea.
“Our oceanic rights are being challenged. It is of great urgency to protect our territory and settle boundary disputes with surrounding countries,” Ministry Foreign Affairs on boundary and ocean affairs director Deng Zhonghua said.
Deng added that the peaceful environment in international waters, the Cshinese’ rights in polar regions, and disputes over Huangyan Island and the Diaoyu islands poses serious challenges to China’s territorial integrity.
Recently, Chinese lawmakers proposed during the National People’s Congress to immediately start legislation on maritime affairs
Manila Standard Today

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

China re-draws map; PH digs in


Amid its continuing territorial dispute with its neighbors in South East Asia, China has updated its old map by including 130 islands and islets in the South China Sea.
Sinomaps Press chief editor Xu Gencai told Xinhua News Agency on Saturday that Beijing decided to come with a new official map to inform Chinese nationals on China’s territory, safeguard China’s marine rights and interests and manifest China’s political diplomatic stance.

“The new vertical maps have marked clearly the major South China Sea islands and demonstrated their geographic relations with surrounding island countries as well as surrounding islands and islets,” Xu said.
The new vertical-format maps of China, published by Sinomaps Press, featured more than 130 islands and islets in the South China Sea, including the islands and waters that other countries such as the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia also claim.
The bottom-left corner of the new China map, meanwhile, illustrated the Diaoyu Islands, which the Japanese claims as their own and calls Senkaku.
The map showed Diaoyu’s position in relation to other Chinese islets in the mainland and Taiwan.
Raul Hernandez, the spokesman for the Foreign Affairs Department, however, has yet to issue an official statement on Beijing’s latest move.
China’s National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation (NASMG) said in a statement that the 130 islands and islets in the South China Sea were not featured on old China maps.
The old maps were printed horizontally and featured only the three major islands of Xisha (Paracels), Zhongsha (Macclesfield Bank) and Nansha (Spratlys).
“These (new maps) were illustrated in the bottom-right corner at half the scale used for the Chinese mainland,” the editor of the new maps Zhou Beiyan said.
The new maps would be distributed to the public by the end of January, the NASMG said.
As this developed, the country’s defense experts said Manila planned to develop its military bases and other facilities to support the deployment of its naval forces and the establishment of air assets in the West Philippine Sea.
The military said these plans should contribute to enhancing the defense of islets and reefs within the country’s territory against possible intrusion by foreign forces.
They added that the plans to develop military bases were needed deter aggressive posturing by foreign military elements in the West Philippine Sea,  in relation to the growing importance of maritime trade, energy deposits as well as fishery and marine resources inside the country’s 200 exclusive economic zone.
Western Command Chief Lt. Gen. Juancho Saban recently said that the structures that will be put up in Kalayaan Island and in the highly-disputed Panatag Shoal would help underscore the country’s territorial claims.
Saban said the Defense Department has plans to beef up its military capability by procuring naval and air assets  worth P75 billion in the next five years as part of the military’s modernization efforts.
Also,  the military has earmarked P1.2 billion to procure a Hamilton Class Navy ship from United States as part of its objectives to strengthen the Philippine Navy’s presence in the West Philippine Sea.
The government had said that maritime security was a major concern by defense and the military to address non-traditional issues such as maritime terrorism, smuggling, piracy, human and drug trafficking.
These developments were meant to also safeguard the country’s maritime territories, as China continues to press its claim over virtually the entire West Philippine Sea, including the coastal waters of neighboring countries, citing “historical inheritance” and the nine-dash line that was contained on ancient Chinese maps.
The Philippines had said that China’s claim was excessive and was contrary to the provisions in the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea or Unclos.
The Philippines has insisted that its sovereignty and ownership extends to its 200 nautical mile EEC.
Meanwhile, China is reportedly speeding up the drafting of a new maritime regulation, in the wake of Vietnam’s creation of its own sea law,  which states that parts of the Paracel and Spratly islands in the South China Sea falls under Hanoi’s jurisdiction.
The new maritime law, according to National Oceanic watchdog chief Liu Cigui, would China settle conflicts over disputes in the South China Sea.
“Our oceanic rights are being challenged. It is of great urgency to protect our territory and settle boundary disputes with surrounding countries,” Ministry Foreign Affairs on boundary and ocean affairs director Deng Zhonghua said.
Deng added that the peaceful environment in international waters, the Cshinese’ rights in polar regions, and disputes over Huangyan Island and the Diaoyu islands poses serious challenges to China’s territorial integrity.
Recently, Chinese lawmakers proposed during the National People’s Congress to immediately start legislation on maritime affairs
Manila Standard Today

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