Chinese people need to be convinced they don’t have historical claim on South China Sea —Carpio


The Chinese government may comply with the arbitral ruling on the West Philippine Sea territorial issue if its people would understand that there is no historical basis on their claim in the disputed area, acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio said Monday.

At a forum at the House of Representatives, Carpio said every Chinese from all walks of life has been taught that they had owned the South China Sea since 2,000 years ago.

Carpio: The South China Sea is the most important waterway in the world today.

— Erwin Colcol (@erwincolcol) November 26, 2018
“In their position paper, China said Chinese activities in the South China Sea started way back 2,000 years ago. China was the first to discover, name the islands and other reefs within the South China, and therefore they own the South China. That is their historical narrative,” he said.

“The Chinese government will not comply to the ruling until the Chinese people understand that that historical narrative is totally false,” he added.

Carpio is one of those who spearheaded the filing of the landmark Philippine arbitration case that challenged the validity of China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. The Philippines won the case in July 2016.

According to Carpio, the earliest maps of the Philippines that date back in the Spanish period show that the country was the first one to give a name to what is now known as the Scarborough Shoal and the Spratly’s.

These include the 1734 Carta Hydrographica y Chorographica de las Yslas Filipinas printed by the Jesuit priest Murillo Velarde and the 1688 Coronelli Terrestrial Globe.

Both these maps were included in the evidence they presented for the arbitral case, Capio said.

While Chinese government also has maps as early as 1098 AD, Carpio said these only showed that the country’s territory was only until Hainan Island in its southern tip.

He also said China only claimed the Spratly’s and included it in their map in 1947.

Carpio said the Chinese government could not comply with the arbitral ruling because it will “illegitimize” them in the eyes of its people.

“The Chinese people may even overthrow the government for giving away their sovereignty,” he said.

“They have this mantra: We will not give up a square inch of our sacred territory that was bequeathed to us by our ancestors through the ages,” he added.