Carpio rebuffs Duterte: China doesn’t possess South China Sea


Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio makes these remarks after President Rodrigo Duterte said China ‘is already in possession’ of the South China Sea

MANILA, Philippines – Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio rebuffed President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, November 16, by asserting that China does not possess the South China Sea as Duterte claimed.

“China is in physical possession of the entire Paracels, 7 geologic features in the Spratlys, and Scarborough Shoal. These geologic features, and their territorial seas, constitute less than 8% of the total area of the South China Sea. Factually, China is not in possession of the South China Sea,” Carpio said in a prepared speech on Friday.

He also pointed out that about 25% of the South China Sea is composed of high seas. He said that under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, “no state can possess or own the high seas, which belong to all mankind.”

He said that “there is freedom of navigation and overflight in the high seas for all nations.”