China has sovereignty over Huangyan Island
2012/06/08
 

1. Why does China have sovereignty over Huangyan Island?

  (1) China started official astronomical surveying on Huangyan Island at least back in 13th century.

  (2) In 1935, the Chinese government officially released the name list of South China Sea islands. Huangyan Island, then named Scarborough Shoal, was included as a part of Zhongsha Islands in China's territory. In 1947, the Chinese government released a new name list of South China Sea Islands, in which Scarborough Shoal was included and renamed Minzhu (Democratic) Reef. In 1983, the Chinese government released again a name list of South China Sea Islands, which use Huangyan Island as the standard name for the island and Democratic Reef as an alternative name for it.

  All the official maps published by the Chinese governments of different periods marked Huangyan Island as a part of China's territory.

  (3) Many scientific expeditions to Huangyan Island have been organized by Chinese government. In October 1977 and June 1978, members of South China Sea Institute of Oceanology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences conducted scientific research on the island respectively. In April 1985, a comprehensive science expedition on Huangyan Island was organized by Nanhai Suboffice of State Oceanic Administration of China. In 1994, 1995 and 1997, radio amateurs made radio expedition on Huangyan Island three times with the approval of Chinese government.

 

2. Why is Huangyan Island not part of the Philippine territory?

  (1) The Treaty of Paris (1898), the treaty of Washington (1900) and the treaty between Great Britain and the United States (1930) clearly delineated the limit of the Philippine territory and Huangyan Island is outside this limit. The 1961 Republic Act No. 3046 and the 1968 Republic Act No. 5446 of the Philippines reaffirmed the Philippine territorial limits and Huangyan Island was not included. Neither was it used as a base point of baseline for measuring the breadth of the territorial sea of the Philippines.

  (2) The then Philippine ambassador to Germany clearly stated in his letter to a German radio amateur on February 5, 1900 that Huangyan Island "did not fall within the territorial sovereignty of the Philippines".

  The document issued by the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority of the Philippines to the American Radio Relay League on October 18 1994 also confirmed that the Philippine territorial limits and sovereignty were stipulated by Article 3 of the Treaty of Paris (1898) and that Huangyan Island " lies just outside the territorial boundaries of the Philippines."

  (3) Until 2011, official maps published in the Philippines still indicated that Huangyan Island is outside the Philippine territorial limit. (Please see appendix for the Official Maps of the Philippines below)

 

3.  The Huangyan Island incident was provoked by the Philippine side.

  On 10 April, Chinese fishermen were conducting normal fishing inside the lagoon of Huangyan Island. A Philippine Navy gunboat showed up and sent speedboats to board some of Chinese fishing boats and harassed Chinese fishermen. When Chinese fishermen refused to sign a document that was an admission of conducting "illegal fishing", they were forced to take off their shirts and stand under the scorching sun. The Chinese public service ships later came to their rescue, and are conducting routine patrols in the area. Since Huangyan Island is an integral part of China's territory, there is no so called "dispute over Huangyan Island". The Chinese side wishes to resolve this incident with the Philippine side through diplomatic consultation.

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