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Asian Nations Reject China’s South China Sea Map

Asian Nations Reject China’s South China Sea Map

Asian Nations Reject China’s South China Sea Map

Asian Nations Reject China’s South China Sea Map

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  1. Philippines urges China to abide by international law.
  2. Malaysia files diplomatic protest over the map.
  3. China’s U-shaped line covers a vast portion of the South China Sea.
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Several Asian countries, including the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam, have dismissed a recent map released by China, which asserts its sovereignty claims over the South China Sea. China published this map, featuring its well-known U-shaped line encompassing roughly 90% of the South China Sea, a region known for numerous territorial disputes and as a vital trade route worth over $3 trillion annually.

The Philippines urged China to adhere to international law and a 2016 arbitral ruling that invalidated the legal basis of this line. Malaysia registered a diplomatic protest regarding the map’s contents. China maintains that this line aligns with its historical maps, although it’s unclear whether this new map indicates any fresh territorial claims. The U-shaped line extends as far as 1,500 kilometers south of China’s Hainan Island, overlapping with the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia.

The Philippine Foreign Ministry stressed that China’s attempt to legitimize sovereignty and jurisdiction over Philippine features and maritime zones lacks any foundation in international law. Malaysia emphasized that the map does not hold any binding authority over its territory, considering the South China Sea a complex and sensitive issue.

This map differs from China’s narrower 2009 submission to the United Nations, which included the “nine-dash line.” The current map covers a broader geographical area and features a line with ten dashes, encompassing Taiwan as part of China, similar to a 1948 map. Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry firmly asserted that Taiwan is not part of the People’s Republic of China, maintaining its sovereignty stance.

China’s recent map release occurred during its “national map awareness publicity week.” When asked about the map’s changes, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin stated that China’s position on the South China Sea issue remains clear, and they regularly update and release standard maps. Wang called for an objective and rational perspective from relevant parties.

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Late on Thursday, Vietnam’s foreign ministry declared that China’s claims based on the map are valueless and violate both Vietnamese and international laws. Vietnam firmly rejected any Chinese claims in the East Sea, referring to the South China Sea, that rely on the dashed line.

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