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Ginete, Aileen Rhea P.

BSSW-2

11:20-12:20 M.W.F

CHINAS CLAIM OF THE WEST PHILIPPINE SEA AGAINST PHILIPPINES

One of the major issue and problems our country and the Aquino
administration facing today is the issue of the West Philippine Sea against
China. Territorial disputes in the South China Sea involve both island and
maritime

claims

namely Brunei,

among

several sovereign

the People's

Republic

of

states within
China,

the

region,

the Republic

of

China (Taiwan), Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. There are disputes
concerning both the Spratly and the Paracel islands, as well as maritime
boundaries in the Gulf of Tonkin and elsewhere. There is a further dispute in
the waters near the Indonesian Natuna Islands. The interest of the different
nations over the West Philippine Sea are the marine life because this west
Philippine sea are rich and abundant in many different sea species that are
already endangered and also the beautiful and fabulous corals. But most
especially

the

main

interest

are

the

mineral

deposits.

But

China

confidentially claims that they own the said island because they base it with
the ways in claiming and owning a particular territory which are (1)
discovery, means that a country must explore and discover those islands and
territory and (2) occupation, which is the most important in owning a
territory, one must occupied and build some infrastructures within the
discovered portion of territory to established control. China explained that
they own the West Philippine Sea during the times of their ancestors during
the different Dynasty. China claims indisputable sovereignty over all the
waters, islands, reefs, rocks, seabed, minerals, and living and non-living
resources falling within its 9-dashed line claim in the South China Sea. The 9dashed line area comprises almost 90% of the total area of the South China
Sea. Chinas 9-dashed line claim encroaches on 80% of the Philippines 200nm exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and 100% of its 150-nm extended
continental shelf (ECS) facing the South China Sea - what the Philippines
calls the West Philippines Sea. Chinas 9-dashed line claim has similar effects
on the EEZs and ECSs of Vietnam, 2 Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia facing
the South China Sea. The countries most adversely affected by Chinas 9-

dashed line claim, in terms of the size of the area encroached by the 9dashed line claim, are the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and
Indonesia, in that order. Because of the 9 dash-line Filipino fisherman are not
allowed to navigate within the said west Philippine Sea because if they will
not obey the law that the China imposed within the territory the Chinese
armored vessel will shot them. For me, first the case of west Philippine Sea is
still ongoing and they UNCLOS has not yet decided if the China owns the
West Philippine Sea. Second, we as Filipinos we have still a right over the
West Philippine Sea based on what our Philippine Constitution states under
article I. China must not directly established a law and operate in the West
Philippine Sea. In claiming and owning a territory is not easy because there
are many process to accomplish and most especially the UNCLOS or the
United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea which will governs the
conflicting maritime claims over the South China Sea. UNCLOS codified the
then existing customary international law of the sea, created novel
entitlements in favor of coastal and landlocked states, and adopted a
compulsory dispute settlement mechanism to insure that there is a final
authoritative body to interpret and apply its provisions. UNCLOS governs only
maritime entitlements, maritime space and maritime disputes. The maritime
entitlements of states - the territorial sea, EEZ and ECS and their resources
emanate and are drawn only from baselines on continental land or islands.
UNCLOS provides for a compulsory dispute settlement mechanism, subject to
certain types of disputes that states are allowed to exclude from compulsory
arbitration. All states that ratified UNCLOS bound themselves in advance to
this compulsory dispute settlement mechanism. The Philippines and China,
having ratified UNCLOS, are bound by this compulsory dispute settlement
mechanism. UNCLOS does not govern territorial sovereignty disputes over
land or land features in the oceans and seas. Territorial sovereignty 3
disputes over land or land features - that is, islands, reefs and rocks above
water at high tide - are governed by the rules and principles of general
international law. An international tribunal can acquire jurisdiction over
territorial sovereignty disputes only with the consent of the states that are
parties to the particular dispute, in the absence of a treaty binding them in
advance to the jurisdiction of such tribunal. There is no such treaty between
the Philippines and China. In short, any maritime dispute between the
Philippines and China is subject to compulsory arbitration under UNCLOS,
except for the disputes that China has excluded from compulsory arbitration
in accordance with UNCLOS. In contrast, the territorial sovereignty dispute

between the Philippines and China over land and land features is not subject
to compulsory arbitration. The Philippines has a right to claim and further has
the chance to own the West Philippine Sea because under the Article I,
National Territory, states that in which all other territories over which the
Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdictionincludes any territory that
presently belongs or might in the future belong to the Philippines through
any of the accepted international modes of acquiring territory.
The archipelagic principle which has two elements:
1. The definition of internal waters (supra);
2. The straight baseline method of delineating the territorial sea consists of
drawing straight lines connecting the outermost points on the coast without
departing to any appreciable extent from the general direction of the coast.
Important distances with respect to the waters around the Philippines
-Territorial Sea 12 nautical miles (n.m.)
-Contiguous Zone 12 n.m. from the edge of the territorial sea
-Exclusive Economic Zone 200 n.m. from the baseline
Whereas Philippines has still the rights within this territorial boundaries in
which the china claims that it is one of their territory but based on what
Article I of the 1987 Constitution that it is included in the Philippine territory
the 12 n.m which is the territorial sea, contiguous zone and EEZ. In 2014, the
United States responded to China's claims over the fishing grounds of other
nations by saying that "China has not offered any explanation or basis under
international law for these extensive maritime claims. The Chinese Foreign
Ministry asked the United States to maintain a neutral position on the issue.
The United States continued freedom of navigation operations, including in
the South China Sea. Sources closer to Pentagon have also said that the US
administration is planning to deploy some naval assets within the 12 nautical
miles of the Spratly Islands. In response to this announcement, Beijing issued
a strict warning and said that she would not allow any country to violate
China's territorial waters in the name of "Freedom of Navigation". On 27
October 2015, a US destroyer USS Lassen navigated within 12 nautical miles
of the emerging land masses in the Spratly Islands as the first in a series of
"Freedom of Navigation Operation". This is the first time since 2012 that the
US has directly challenged China's claims of the island's territorial limit. On
89 November 2015, two US B-52 strategic bombers flew near artificial
Chinese-built islands in the area of the Spratly Islands and were contacted by

Chinese ground controllers but continued their mission undeterred. Based on


this news, in which the United Nations, in favor of the Philippines navigate
their Navy ship within the West Philippine Sea to established the freedom of
navigation and to show and inform China about the freedom of navigation.
Today, it is still debatable and the Philippines filed a case over China in
UNCLOS. Many Asian countries and even the UN are in favor for the
Philippines. We as Filipinos must support our government in winning this
territory. We must be strong in facing this problem against the most
influenced and most advance in technology which is China. Let us stand and
fight for what we have because it is not already an ordinary issue to be solve
but it is a battle of territory, and based on that we will fight and defend what
we have because we have our constitution that states all about our territory
in which we can exercise our power and freedom of navigation. Yet, we are a
poor and still a developing country but we have the capabilities and potential
to fight for this even in front of the leaders and defend it in UNCLOS. As a
student we must be aware not only the issues of our country but also the
laws that our country has established.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Allen Yu, On Chinas 9-Dashed Line and Why the Arbitrational Tribunal in
Hague Should Dismiss Philippines Case Against China
Daniel J. Dzurek (1996). The Spratly Islands Dispute: Who's on First?. IBRU.
pp. 4447. ISBN 978-1-897643-23-5.
Hector S. De Leon, 1985 Phil. Constitution
http://philippinesintheworld.org/sites/default/files/FINAL_West%20Phil%20Sea
%20Primer_UP%20(15%20July%202013).pdf
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-13748349
Jump up^ Amanda Lago (3 December 2012). "No moves to redeploy patrol
vessels to Panatag Shoal yet DFA chief". GMA News. Retrieved 5
December 2012.
Kelsey Broderick, (May 2015) Chinese Activities in the South China Sea
Implications for the American Pivot to Asia,
Rouchelle R. Dinglasan (1 December 2012). "Chinas 'new rule' in South
China Sea is threat to all countries DFA". GMA News. Retrieved 5
December 2012.
Sean Mirski, The South China Sea Dispute: A Brief History
THE RULE OF LAW IN THE WEST PHILIPPINE SEA DISPUTE (Publication
Version)