The Philippines has upped the ante in its territorial dispute with China by fighting fire with fire, or in this case, a map with a map. The Philippines has recently unveiled an exhibit in Manila of 60 ancient maps of Asia that authorities say debunk China’s claimed “historical ownership” over disputed areas of the South China Sea, specifically the Scarborough Shoal, located west of the Philippines.
According to Filipino newspaper The Inquirer, Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said in a public lecture that he hopes the maps, the oldest dating from 1136 during China’s Southern Song Dynasty, would finally settle the dispute in the South China Sea in the Philippines’ favor. The cartographic display is also viewable online at the Institute of Maritime and Ocean Affairs website.
“We should respect historical facts, not historical lies,” Carpio said. The collection of maps shows the island of Hainan, China’s southernmost region, as not including any maritime territories, particularly the hotly disputed Scarborough Shoal and Spratly Islands.