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PH Justice Carpio debunks Chinas historical

claim of South China Sea

By Ellen Tordesillas, Contributor | The Inbox 15 hours ago
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By Ellen T. Tordesillas
Antonio T. CarpioUsing Chinas very own
ancient maps, Justice Antonio T. Carpio debunked the Asian superpower's ownership claims of
almost the whole of South China Sea based on historical facts.
In lecture at De La Salle University "Historical Facts, Historical Lies and Historical Rights in the
West Philippine Sea," Carpio took up Chinas invitation to look at the historical facts by
examining not only Chinese ancient maps but also maps of Philippine authorities and other
Carpio said All these ancient maps show that since the first Chinese maps appeared,the southern
most territory of China has always been Hainan Island, with its ancient names being Zhuya, then
Qiongya, and thereafter Qiongzhou.
Hainan Island was for centuries a part of Guangdong Province until 1988 when it became a
separate province, he added.
Carpio said that after the Philippines filed in January 2013 its arbitration case against China
before an international tribunal, invoking UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of
the Sea ) to protect the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Philippines, China stressed historical
facts as another basis for its maritime claims in the South China Sea.
Carpio said Chinese diplomats now declare that they will not give one inch of territory that their
ancestors bequeathed to them.
He quoted General Fang Fenghui, Chief of Staff of the Peoples Liberation Army, during his
recent visit to the United States saying, territory passed down by previous Chinese generations
to the present one will not be forgotten or sacrificed.
Two of China's ancient maps
Carpio said 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
Peoples 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 thePhilippine Sea, just because historically these bodies of water have
been named after these countries.
Carpio said in the early 17th century, Hugo Grotius, the founder of international law, wrote that
the oceans and seas of our planet belonged to all mankind, and no nation could claim ownership
to the oceans and seas.
This revolutionary idea of Hugo Grotius later became the foundation of the law of the sea under
international law.
To download Carpios complete speech please go to