Spokesperson on the claim that the Huang Yan Island is a part of the Philippine territory(20/03/2001)
2004/04/08

Q: Vice president and foreign minister Guingona of the Philippines claimed in a statement issued on March 15 that the Huang Yan Island is a part of the Philippine territory and its government has already exercised sovereign right and jurisdiction over the said waters. What’s your comment on it?

A: The Huang Yan Island is China’s innate territory and the waters around it is the traditional fishing area for the Chinese fishermen, for which China has abundant historical and jurisprudence backings. Ever since the ancient times, numerous documents on the Chinese history have put down definitely in writing that the Huang Yan Island belongs to China’s territory. The fact that China has sovereign right and exercises jurisdiction over the Huang Yan Island is widely respected by the international community.  

The Huang Yan Island has never been within the territorial limits of the Philippines. A series of treaties on the delimitation of the Philippine territory have stipulated explicitly that the demarcation line in the west of the territorial limits of the Philippines is at 118 degree east longitude while the Huang Yan Island is to the west of it and a component part of China’s Zhongsha Islands. The map published by the government of the Philippines also clearly indicates that the Huang Yan Island is not within the Philippine territorial limits. In recent years the Philippine side has made territorial claims over China’s Huang Yan Island on grounds of its 200 nautical miles exclusive economic zone and geographical adjacency, which does not stand at all in international law.

We demand that the Philippine side value the basic fact and the basic principles of the international law, respect China’s territorial sovereignty and abide by the understanding and consensus reached by the two sides through repeated negotiations, so as to safeguard with concrete action the stability in the South China Sea and the overall situation of friendship between China and the Philippines.

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