MANILA, Philippines – An exhibit of 60 ancient maps presented Thursday showed that China has never had “historical ownership” of Scarborough Shoal, one of the many maritime features in the disputed West Philippine Sea.
The maps were published based on the previous lecture of Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio debunking China’s claims of “indisputable sovereignty” over the entire South China Sea.
“This exhibit provides a compelling argument against China’s ‘indisputable claim’ on the South China Sea,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said in his opening remarks.
He said that the maps corroborate the fact that Scarborough, also known as Bajo de Masinloc or Panatag shoal, has never been a part of Chinese territory and has always been part of the Philippines.
Carpio said in his keynote speech that he hopes these maps, the oldest of which date back to 1136 under China’s Nan Song Dynasty, would show to the world the true historical facts of the disputes in the South China Sea.
All maps, whether published by China or other countries, consistently show that China’s southernmost province in Hainan island does not claim any other maritime features, such as the Spratly Islands and Scarborough.