• Wed
  • Sep 24, 2014
  • Updated: 7:33am
NewsChina Insider

China asserts sovereignty over disputed South China Sea with new vertical map

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 June, 2014, 1:03pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 June, 2014, 1:38am

China has published its first official vertical national map incorporating the vast South China Sea, with equal weight given to both land and sea, in its latest move emphasising its claims of sovereignty over the disputed waters.

Previous official maps of China were horizontal and focused on the country’s vast land area. And the country’s sea areas and islands in the South China Sea were often featured on a smaller scale, in a separate box-out in a bottom corner of the map.

In the new map, which went on sale on Monday, the islands and claimed waters in the South China Sea have been given the same amount of weight as China’s land areas, and are featured on the same scale in one complete map. The South China Sea area is more prominent in the new map and is marked out by a nine-dash demarcation line. China claims all the islands and their adjacent waters encompassed by the line are part of its sovereignty.

China’s survey and mapping administration has approved the map published by Hunan Map Press, which said the publication was of “great significance in safeguarding the nation’s water sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

“[This helps to] correct misconceptions that territories carry different weights, and fosters a raised territorial awareness and marine consciousness with the public,” editor-in-chief Lei Yixun of the press was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

The vast South China Sea, rich in oil, gas and fisheries, is surrounded by a host of Southeast Asian countries.

China's nine-dash line encompasses about 90 per cent of the Sea, while the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and Taiwan each claims parts of the waters.

This isn’t the first time that Beijing has used maps to assert its ownership of the South China Sea. The latest Chinese passport that has been issued since 2012 incorporates a map that highlights almost the entire South China Sea as being part of Chinese territory. This step sparked fierce protests from China’s neighbours, most notably Vietnam and the Philippines.

Lee Yunglung, a professor at the South China Sea Institute of Xiamen University, said the new map may have been published to test the reactions of China’s neighbours.

“The fact that the map is published by a local publication house enables Beijing to dodge the potential strong resistance from its neighbours. At the same time it paves the way for the government to promote the usage of the map in the future if the backlash isn’t too severe,” Lee said.

He added the move had multiple advantages for the government.

“Domestically speaking, [the map] not only promotes the public’s territorial awareness, it also serves as evidence to strengthen and consolidate Beijing’s territorial claim.

And internationally “it asserts to neighbouring nations that the Chinese government is determined to weight its water territories equally with its land,” he added.

“It implies China could potentially react to sea disputes with the same degree of intensity as if it was dealing with Tibet or Xinjiang separatists.”


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This article is now closed to comments

How About
China is fully entitled to this map and to stake her sovereignty on the 9 dotted line South China Sea, as well as the Diaoyu Islands, why:
1) Peaceful Rise of the Panda : since 1949 how China settle 17 out of 23 territorial disputes and offered substantial compromises in most of these settlements, here, Deng bide time and not show her strength, International Security- Harvard College and MIT www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1162/016228805775124534 . One possible explanation was China was weary of the atomic threat of the USA that China had been threatened with at least twice since 1949.
2) Escalation of the Diaoyu by the Japanese, a wise Deng Xiaoping shelved this dispute. The rekindling of it in 2012 pro-West-imperialists claimed Abe’s nationalization was to smooth over rightwing Shintaro Ishihara's attempt at purchasing Diaoyu Islands, which is bullocks. USA sanctioned this crude charade to provoke China because in 2012 both China and Russia jointly decided to topple the US $ currency, which by the way was the start of the Cold War v2.
3) The Diaoyu Island dispute should rightly be enlarged to include Liuqiu Qun Dao [Liuqiu Island Chain] or Ryuku to include Okinawa, look carefully at the contents of the treaties preceding these i.e. TSF and Treaty of Shimonoseki, and what Japan ended up - 4 islands.
How About
4) As to Philippines claims on the Nansha (Spratly) – look no further at the various Philippines constitutions in 1899, 1935, 1949, 1973, 1986 and 1987, yes a few of these post dating UNCLOS, as to what Philippines believe they do own- Nansha isn't in there. China had and rightly still owns the Nansha Islands.
5) Xisha- in the past few years the Japanese had been pouring candy with the Vietnamese government including millions of coastguard upgrades in 2014 before the oilrig incident. For every action there is consequence. How hard is it for any pro-west cultist say this UNCLOS doesn’t, or perhaps shouldn't rewrite all of maritime history and sovereignty, look at it with the current/contemporary metrics. Still unhappy with this take, abrogate it them, let’s start over, China rightly should end up with more EEZ for every inch of coastline she owns, than the seriously flawed UNCLOS III anyway.
Why do you hear and read different about all of these from the media, because US media is basically an arm of the US military, www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZnKKMFL6no&list=PL9XpnGiGJtkRk8Bsx5xJLe...
US has always been the devil behind all of these, it is their containment policy to stop China rise. And why is there nothing fruitful from the week Xi and Obanana had in California, One-China, Core Interest of China et al, well, the Potus doesn't run America, someone does!
The CCP China is 64 years old. They have no legitimacy to claim anything from past imperial dynasties based on "history". Those dynasties lost it all through internal weakness, selfish corruption and stupidity.



Well, this is going to end all so pleasantly well...
China, good on you, keep going further and further until Vietnam, Philippine and Japan go on their knees. No one can talk about you before they tell Anglo saxon to get out of America, Hawaii, Guam, the occupied Mexican land, Canada, New zealand, Australia, Faulk land and Japan to get out of Okinama.
Why am I reminded of Eddie Izzard - 'Do you have a flag?'
Historical facts, even if true, relating to discovery and exploration in the Age of Discovery (early 15th century until the 17th century) or even earlier, have no bearing whatsoever in the resolution of maritime disputes under UNCLOS. Neither Spain nor Portugal can ever revive their 15th century claims to ownership of all the oceans and seas of our planet, despite the 1481 Papal Bull confirming the division of the then undiscovered world between Spain and Portugal. The sea voyages of the Chinese Imperial Admiral Zheng He, from 1405- 1433, can never be the basis of any claim to the South China Sea. Neither can historical names serve as basis for claiming the oceans and seas. The South China Sea was not even named by the Chinese but by European navigators and cartographers. The Song and Ming Dynasties called the South China Sea the “Giao Chi Sea,” and the Qing Dynasty, the Republic of China as well as the People’s Republic of China call it the “South Sea” without the word “China.” India cannot claim the Indian Ocean, and Mexico cannot claim the Gulf of Mexico, in the same way that the Philippines cannot claim the Philippine Sea, just because historically these bodies of water have been named after these countries. Neither can ancient conquests be invoked under international law to claim territories. Greece cannot claim Egypt, Iran, Turkey and the land stretching up to Pakistan just because Alexander the Great conquered that part of the world from 334-323 BC.
How About
Ahh the Western Age of Discovery has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?
Were you to put the 200~300 years in context it was Age of African Slavery, Age of Global Piracy, Age of Incan, Mayan Australian Aborigines Genocides, Age of abject worldwide colonization.




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