MANILA –- The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday called China’s new official map “unreasonably expansive” as it includes areas within Philippine sovereignty as part of Chinese territory.
“We reiterate that such a publication only shows China’s unreasonably expansive claim that is clearly contrary to international law and United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” DFA spokesman Charles Jose said in a statement.
Reports said China has unveiled a new map that marks a huge area of the South China Sea as part of Chinese jurisdiction, encroaching on the territories of its neighbors like the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.
“It is precisely such ambitious expansionism that is causing the tensions in the South China Sea,” Jose said.
China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea – a major shipping route and home to groups of islands, rocks, reefs and cays. Beijing says its claim over the resource-rich waters is indisputable.
The Philippine government has renamed parts of the waters that are within its exclusive economic zone as West Philippine Sea.
Manila challenged China’s claim before an international tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, where a resolution is pending.