• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 11:06am
NewsAsia
TERRITORIAL DISPUTE

Ancient Chinese maps debunk Beijing's sea claims, says Philippine judge

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 June, 2014, 10:56pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 June, 2014, 12:33pm

A judge has laid out a case for the Philippines' claim over disputed islands, citing his analysis of old maps and calling Beijing's nine-dash line that extends into Southeast Asia a "gigantic historical fraud".

Senior Supreme Court Judge Antonio Carpio challenged Beijing's claim to 90 per cent of the 3.5 million sq km resource-rich South China Sea, part of which is also claimed by Manila. The Philippines has filed a case with the United Nations challenging Beijing's claims.

Meanwhile, tensions between China and Vietnam have escalated in recent weeks following Beijing's dispatch of an oil rig to waters surrounding another contested island group, the Paracels.

Carpio used a recent lecture to present 72 ancient maps - 15 of them of Chinese origin. All supposedly showed China's southern border ending at Hainan.

The maps have long been freely available to view through the US Library of Congress, but it is the first time a Philippine official has closely examined the maps. "All these ancient maps show that since the first Chinese maps appeared, the southernmost territory of China has always been Hainan Island, with its ancient names being Zhuya, then Qiongya, and thereafter Qiongzhou," Carpio said.

He said it was important to establish that Beijing had no historical claim to the territory, even if "historical facts" can no longer be invoked under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, because Beijing had warned it was prepared to fight for it.

"During his recent visit to the US, General Fang Fenghui , chief of staff of the People's Liberation Army, said that … territory passed down by previous Chinese generations to the present one will not be forgotten or sacrificed," Carpio said.

Beijing has always backed its historical claims by saying it has "authoritative maps" but has not made such maps public.

Carpio said: "We shall gladly accept China's invitation to look at the historical facts by examining three types of maps" - those made in China, those made by foreigners, and ancient maps of the Philippines showing the disputed Huangyan island as part of the archipelago and not China.

Carpio is familiar with the dispute, having signed a Supreme Court decision affirming the constitutionality of the Philippine "archipelagic baseline law" which staked ownership over islands in the South China Sea.

During his lecture on the maps last Friday, Carpio said it was important to show that the nine-dash line was a "gigantic historical fraud" because China was using it to court public opinion.

The first map Carpio showed was a photo of a rubbing of a map engraved in stone in Fuchang in 1136 AD in the Song dynasty. He said "the stone map shows Hainan island as the southernmost territory of China".

Ten years ago, the Chinese embassy in Manila cited an inscription on the tomb of Hainan garrison general Quian Shicai of the Ming dynasty as evidence of China's claim over the Spratly islands. It stated: "Guangdong is adjacent to the grand South China Sea, and the territories beyond the sea all internally belong to the Ming state."

But Carpio showed five official maps from the Ming dynasty showing "Hainan as the southernmost territory of China".

The Chinese embassy has also said that in the Qing dynasty, China marked the Nansha Islands on authoritative maps and exercised administrative jurisdiction over the islands.

But Carpio presented three official maps from the Qing dynasty that he said showed Hainan as China's most southern territory.

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This article is now closed to comments

richard.barnes.528
China's claim on these Islands are purely fantasy born from it's desire to gain access to the oil. In 1521 Spain entered this disputed area and took claim of everything. Nobody, including China were willing or able to say different. In 1898 the United States took over all of these Islands and territories held by Spain. From 1898 until 1947 the United States held these Islands. The United States gave them all over to the Philippines after granting the Philippines their independence. At no point from 1521 until today has China EVER had a legitimate claim. This is purely a desire to steal the oil resources of these Islands. Sorry but during WWII Japan had China defeated until the US won the war. China had absolutely no naval forces at all,,,gone,,, zip,,,nada. Japan held them for about 2 years until the US regained control. A 1947 map from Moa means nothing, literally nothing.
wumao
The 1947 maps show China's claim.
.
The ancient maps indicate their is no HISTORICAL basis for the claim.
5397fabb-b0bc-4f01-bff5-52b30a3209cb
My friend, I think your remark is more laughable. The Philippines never claimed part of the Spratlys based on historical facts but on the UNCLOS. The only reason that Justice Carpio used Chinese maps to refute China's claim is because its claim to the whole South China Sea is based they say on historical facts. Got the point?
anthonygmail
What...the Philippines have to use Chinese and other foreign maps to rebuke China's claim but does not have any ancient maps produced by itself? Does not the fact that the Philippines could not produce maps make their claim laughable?
jayb
i AM STUNNED!!!! a Filipino judge wrote to support Philippines' claim.
let me prepare myself a little bit before a Chinese judge write to support China's claim... LOL>
wumao
FACT
.
Scarborough Shoal does NOT appear on any ancient Chinese maps.
.
FACT
.
Filippino and western maps from 17th to the early 20th century show Scarborough Shoal as being Philippine territory.
5397fabb-b0bc-4f01-bff5-52b30a3209cb
req, that is exactly why historical claims are no longer accepted. Only, China is so stubborn on it's claim over the whole South China Sea. I don't think you got Justice Carpio's point.
zvichadashote
Has anyone figured it out that we have 2 devils at work here? China - trying to flex its muscles and assert dominance in Asia and whip up the flames of Chinese patriotism so the masses will forget that internet never works in early June because of government stifling anything that smells of democracy. Devil # 2 - the Philippines - fanning the flames of national pride over some useless rocks so the masses will forget the Trillions of pesos stolen each year by politicians and ex actors. Sums stolen that are much greater than any benefit that could be gained from owning those rocks. Classic and historically proven methods of how to **** the public and remain in power!
cy_lau
so??
ldAsia
Mr. Carpio: Go do a better and complete research. For such a complex situation, just a few maps would be difficult to convince educated people, but a few people that do not have the ability to think. You might be able to stupefy a few illiterates in this world. Good luck and take some time to do a complete research - not a few old maps from the Philippines' libraries.

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