• Wed
  • Jul 23, 2014
  • Updated: 7:58pm
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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justice_first
If maps, any historic map, should be the standard of judgment on who own the islands and reefs, then Philippines has no claim because its maps are simply without any indication of such ownership. Go and look at all the maps of the Philippines since independent. It uses control and jurisdiction, and later the so called EEZ, effective only from 1994, to justify its claim to the SCS.
China has be saying that it had control and jurisdiction over the SCS for centuries. If this is true, then it has a better claim than the Philippines.
It is certainly a matter of who has the better claim, it cannot be both.
lynnepoelmann
I am appalled about the blatant racism in this forum. We are all human beings and nobody is any more superior then the other!
Formerly ******
First, China builds upon a coral reef an artificial island. This will endear to environmentalists China and its aggressive, gun boat diplomacy as it tries for hegemony over all of Asia. Yeah, one can count upon China to protect mother earth.
Second, China plants an ocean oil rig well within Vietnam's economic zone. This will make other Asian nations trust China and want engage with China in business.
Yes, China just can't stop being the Inspector Clouseau of world diplomacy.
第一,中國之上一片珊瑚礁人工島嶼。這將使中國環保主義者和它的侵略喜愛,炮艇外交作為它試圖為霸權結束所有亞洲國家。是的一個人可以依靠中國來保護地球母親。
第二,中國在越南的經濟區域內植物海洋石油鑽井平臺。這將使其他亞洲國家信任中國,並且想從事與中國的業務。
是的中國只是不能停止正在世界外交的探長。
raglan
A pino who thinks he can read maps, LOL!
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!
539a6387-73a8-4dc8-af75-08e90a3209ca
those islands that are being disputed are not china's! end of conversation.. they have no business in south china sea! get out china
ldAsia
Stup: the real devil is USA in instigating chaos all over the world, like wars/conflicts in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine, Baltic, and now Crimea. Meanwhile in the East, they are trying hard to blockade China (because they fell that they are threatened because they know very well that they are losing in all aspects including economy (China is destined to be #1 world economic power in 2020, WTO said it is already #1), education, technology, and military). Little poor banana Philippines will not have a slight chance to argue with China, if not with the backing and instigation from USA. Don't you know why US is so engaged in spying everyone in the world using their NSA facility!! Mr. E. Snowden, a US citizen could not stand with it and whistle-blew it and confirm this fact to the world. Wake up and learn and understand more. Then you will see the real faces of the real devils of the world.
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.
539a6387-73a8-4dc8-af75-08e90a3209ca
ummm did you not hear about the map that the chancellor of germany, angela merkel, gave to china as a gift??? it says the exact thing! if theres anybody who needsto do research here its you!! actually no research is needed just look at the map of asia today.. look at those islands being disputed between PH and china! look at how close those islands/rocks/reefs are to PH compare to china! keep in mind that those islands are well within PH's EEZ which was given to them by the UN and also some of those islands are on top of PH's continental shelf!! if you think that showing map wont do any good to smart people... what about not even showing anything at all and just keep saying that "those islands have been owned by us since the qing dynasty! china has indisputable soveriegnty over south china sea!"... think before you say dumbass!
justice_first
Talking about the old map that the German Chancellor gave to the Chinese President, it is also very clear that the Philippines did not even exist in those days.
The concept of EEZ became clear only from 1994, and it does not automatically gives everything within it to the Philippines. It is a theoretical delineation, and you still have to take into account of sovereignty.

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