Scarborough Shoal – a Chinese photo tour

Readers (if there are any) may be wondering exactly what and where the mysterious Scarborough Shoal, where law enforcement ships from China and the Philippines remain engaged in a standoff, actually is. Here’s an annotated gallery of photos from Sohu, giving the Chinese perspective. It’s called “The dispute between China and the Philippines over Zhongsha Huangyan Island”.

Note: The Chinese term for Scarborough Shoal (or Scarborough Reef) is 黄岩岛, meaning Huangyan Island. As you will see, it’s really not an island at all, but i’m making the translation on its own terms.

Here we go:

Huangyan Island Overview

1. Huangyan Island (Scarborough Shoal) is the only one of the Zhongsha group of islands (Zhongsha Qundao) that protrudes above the waterline. It is surrounded by a ring-shaped reef with water depth between 0.5 and 3 metres. The atoll is the shape of a right triangle, and encloses lagoon of 130 square kilometres with water depth of 10 to 20 metres. In the southeastern corner there is a 400-metre-wide channel that links the lagoon with the outside ocean, through which medium-sized fishing boats and small naval vessels can enter. It is an extremely good fishing area and a shelter during storms.

2. In terms of geographical position Huangyan Island is about 800 kilometres from Hong Kong, and about 350 kilometres from the Philippine capital Manila. Like the Spratly Islands, the area around Huangyan is an important shipping lane, at the throat of the main thoroughfare into and out of Subic Bay (Philippines). In addition, the area is super-rich in marine resources, producing plenty of economically valuable species of fish.

3. Scattered pieces of reef appear above the waterline around the Huangyan Island atoll, each piece with a surface area of approximately 1 to 5 square metres.

4. This is the biggest of Huangyan Island’s rocks, R2. According to the relevant rules of the International Convention on the Law of the Sea, islands are naturally formed land areas that are above the waterline at high tide. Confirmed islands can be used to draw baselines for territorial waters, exclusive economic zones and continental shelf areas.

5. In 1980, China’s Surveying Bureau, Earthquake Bureau and Oceanic Administration erected a tablet commemorating a scientific expedition to Huangyan (photo taken 1994). Huangyan was first discovered in 1279 by Chinese people. When Yuan Dynasty astronomer Guo Shoujing conducted a “four seas survey”, his South China Sea survey point was Huangyan Island. In January 1935, the Republic of China’s Land and Water Mapping Review Committee (中华民国水陆地图审查委员会) listed it as Chinese territory. In late 1947, the ROC’s Interior Ministry officially issued the “South Sea Islands Location Map”, placing Huangyan (then known as “Democracy Reef”) within the “international dotted line”. In the late 1970s, China organized many scientific expeditions to Huangyan, and in 1983 China’s Geographical Names Committee (地名委) authorised the publication of “Some Standard Geographical Names for Our Country’s South Sea Islands”, setting the name of Huangyan Island as standard.

6. The satellite remote testing sensor on Huangyan Island, which was later destroyed by the Philippines. Before the 1990s the international community had never raised any doubts about China’s sovereignty over Huangyan, and there existed no dispute over its sovereignty. The Philippines’ 1935 Constitution and 1961 Baselines Law set the 118th meridian as the country’s western boundary, and Huangyan Island lies outside this. From 1993 on, the Philippines commenced explorations, investigations and patrols at Huangyan.

7. A Philippines government official map from the 1990s, with Huangyan outside the Philippines’ territory.

BS7H – China’s Huangyan Island Calling

8. In 1994 the call of channel “BS7H” was sent around the world for the first time from beside Huangyan’s second largest rock. “BS7H” represented the internationally-recognised Huangyan Island amateur wireless radio signal, with B representing China’s wireless radio, S standing for the islands of the South China Sea, 7 representing the administrative region of Hainan Province in our country’s 7th region, and H for Huangyan Island. The China Radio Sports Association (中国无线电运动协会) teamed up in June 1994 with wireless enthusiasts from America, Japan and other countries to organise the first “Huangyan Island Long Expedition”. On June 25, the Chen Ping-led expedition of 8 people landed on Huangyan. The team then constructed a platform on a 1.5-metre-high piece of reef, and on that day at 6.18pm the “BS7H” Huangyan amateur radio station contacted the China Radio Sports Association station in Beijing for the first time.

9. In 1995, the team operated on R3, using an aerial tied to China’s memorial tablet. Because of some technical problems, the American Amateur Wireless Association had not awarded points towards its DXCC certification for the 1994 operation. The reason was that it did not count as a land-based operation because it had taken place on a platform in the water. So in April 1995, Chen Ping once again led a team to Huangyan, and this time they took care to operate from one of Huangyan Island’s protruding rocks.

10. The 1995 BS7H station on Huangyan’s second-largest rock. On January 23, 1996, the American Amateur Radio Association committee passed a motion to list “BS7H” as an independent remote DXCC entity more than 225 nautical miles from the mainland. All amateur radio stations to make contact with BS7H would obtain an extra point in the scoring system.

11. BS7H’s 1995 contact card, with the whole team on Huangyan’s biggest rock. DXCC is a game designed in America in 1935 to promote amateur radio activities. Under the rules of the game, the world is divided into numerous DXCC entities, each of which are assigned International Telecoms Union wireless calling code prefixes to mark them according to the country they are located. Each country can become a DXCC entity, as can islands more than 225 nautical miles from any other territory of that country. The listing of BS7H as one of the 3 million amateur stations of the famous DXCC system brought the fact of Huangyan belonging to China to many people’s ears.

12. The tablet placed by China’s Surveying Bureau, Earthquake Bureau and Oceanic Administration in 1980 (taken in 1995 – by 1997 it no longer existed).

13. Team members operating the BS7H station on Huangyan’s second-largest rock in 1997. Before that year, the Philippines had not made any territorial claim to Huangyan, but in May 1997, after travelling aboard a China Maritime Surveillance ship to reach Huangyan for the third time, the Chinese radio enthusiasts were searched and harassed by the Philippines’ military surveillance aircraft and naval gunboats.

[To read more about this incident, check out this 1997 piece from the Far Eastern Economic Review. According to the article, the expedition team was actually told by the Chinese government to cut their trip short.]

14. Despite the Philippines’ harassment, the expedition still successfully completed its task. On this trip the BS7H station contacted 14,000 stations around the world.

15. In May 1997 Filipino fishermen raised the Philippines flag on Huangyan, and destroyed China’s sovereignty marker.

16. On May 17, 1997, not long after the Chinese radio enthusiasts’ third expedition, a Philippines MP and House Defense Chair led military and media personnel to land on Huangyan.

17. At the time, the Philippines government clearly had a guilty conscience. The Philippines Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Oscar Valenzuela said, “The planting of the flag on Scarborough Shoal was not authorised by the Philippines government.” President Ramos also chastised the MPs, saying: “They just anchored there. Of course they are not the executors of foreign policy.”

18. On May 20, 1997, a Philippine patrol ship detained 21 Chinese fisherpersons near Huangyan.

19. The fishing boat captain and mechanic were then taken to Subic City in the Philippines and locked in jail.

20. Other sailors were detained in Subic Bay. At the end of May, President Ramos stated openly: “Philippines has the sovereign right to explore and exploit Huangyan’s resources, it is within our Exclusive Economic Zone.” With this, the Philippines had made a formal claim to sovereignty over Huangyan Island.

21. On May 23, 1999 and in July of that year, our country’s fishermen from Tanmen town 潭门镇 in Qionghai, Hainan, separately took two boats, the Qiong-03091 and Qiong-03061 to conduct normal fishing activities in the waters of Huangyan Island. They were chased, rammed and barbarically sunk by a Philippines naval vessel, and afterwards detained for more than one month. Our embassy made timely and serious negotiations, demanding their unconditional release as well as compensation, but the Philippines maintained the sinking was accidental and refused to pay.

22. In a press conference on February 3, 2000, Philippines Defense Secretary Orlando Mercado criticised Chinese fishermen for taking coral from Huangyan and violating the Philippines‘ rights.

23. Nanjing’s Chen Fang and Chen Xinyu working on the islet’s rocks in April 2007. After 1997 Chinese fishing boats were continuously chased away by the Philippines Navy, and there were even reports of some being arrested. The Philippines has had an overbearing and arrogant attitude on the issue of the Huangyan dispute.

24. Beijing’s Wang Dongping doing monitoring on Huangyan Island in 2007 (he was later the helicopter pilot). In the circumstances, the China Radio Sports Association decided to return to Huangyan for a fourth time. This time their activities were sanctioned by the China Wireless Radio Authority, the Law Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant work units. On April 25 of that year the team, made up of members from six different countries, rented a fishing boat and set out from Hong Kong. They arrived more than 70 hours later.

25. Tainan’s Ke Zhida and Jiangsu’s Chen Fang constructing the operations platform at Huangyan. From April 29 to May 6, 2007, the expedition team operated the China Huangyan BS7H channel, making more than 40,000 communications with more than 300 amateur radios around the world.

26. The expedition team photographed on Huangyan’s biggest outcrop. Although the Philippines was now claiming Huangyan, so conditions were not as favourable as before, China’s radio enthusiasts still spared no effort to transmit the BS7H signal from Huangyan to the West.

27. On April 17, 2010, China Maritime Surveillance vessel number 83 set out to defend China’s rights, and passed by Huangyan Island on the way. On March 10, 2009 Philippines President Gloria Arroyo ignored China’s opposition and officially signed the country’s “Baselines Law”, which designated part of China’s Spratly Islands, as well as Huangyan Island in the Central Sands (中沙群岛) as Philippine territory. Photo by Huang Shengyou.

28. Waves on the outer atoll. Photo by Huang Shengyou.

29. Many Filipino fishing boats working in waters near Huangyan. There are about 40-50 large boats, nearly 100 small ones, as well as one-man dinghies, all catching fish. Photo by Huang Shengyou.

30. Most Filipino fishermen maintain close contacts with the Philippines Navy. Some even carry weapons. Photo by Huang Shengyou.

31. In the past, Chinese fishermen also came here to catch fish, but now they are chased away by the Philippines military or even detained. Photo by Huang Shengyou.

32. Philippines Navy gunboat on patrol at Huangyan Island. Photo by Huang Shengyou.

33. On June 16, 2011, some Filipinos displayed their dissatisfaction over the dispute with China regarding the Spratly Islands.

34. On June 17, 2011, Philippines Department of Defense spokesperson Eduardo Batac said the country would deploy its naval flagship the Raja Humabon corvette to “Scarborough Reef” (Huangyan Island) on patrol, in order to display its so-called sovereignty. Besides this, the Philippines conducted joint maritime exercises with the US between June 28 and July 8.

Philippines President Benigno Aquino: The Philippines will protect its sovereignty in the South China Sea. Although the Philippines is a small country, it will not back down for China.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: I want to stress that we are determined to support the Philippines’ defense. This means finding new methods, supplying appropriate material resources and equipment.

PRC Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai: China has not provoked incidents in the South China Sea. Some countries are playing with fire, and we hope America will not get burned.


The title pinpoints Scarborough Shoal as part of the “Zhongsha”, or “Central Sands”, unlike yesterday’s Global Times piece, which mistakenly names it as part of the “Nansha Islands”, aka the Spratly Islands, the very closest of which is 300-odd kilometres to the south.

On the map of the South China Sea that the PRC has submitted to the UN several times in the past couple of years, the “Zhongsha Archipelago” label appears over the Macclesfield Bank, which is about 200km east of Scarborough. The Macclesfield Bank is completely submerged at all times, with a minimum known depth of 9.2 metres (making it a rather questionable “archipelago”).

Remembering that UNCLOS only allows for territorial waters to be claimed from features above water at high tide, Scarborough Shoal’s bald rocks (an “island” in Chinese) are probably quite crucial to China’s claim of “sovereignty” over the “Zhongsha Islands” and their “adjacent waters” – if it is, as it appears to be, advancing its claims in line with UNCLOS.

129 Comments on “Scarborough Shoal – a Chinese photo tour”

  1. Nathan says:

    That’s nonsense. No country in asia recognizes China as having a legitimate claim to that area. You failed to mention the war that ensued between Vietnam and China over that location in 1974. You also failed to mention that this location is 150 miles away from the Philippines, (500 miles from China) placing well within the 200 mile EEZ zone that was in the treaty of 1982 that China signed off on. The Philippine government no doubt has a more legitimate claim to shoal than China. In addition The Phlippine government are better stewards of the sea, trying to prevent the poaching and poor fishing techniques that Chinese fisherman are known for (such as fishing with dynamite). The fact is that the huge land base of China is going 500 miles away from their country to try to steal real estate from a much smaller and much closer country, only 150 miles away. The Chinese should purchase the area from the Philippine government if they want the shoals so badley.

    • kyh says:

      This is stupid. Alaska is closer to Canada compare to US. Guam is thousands of miles away from the US. Even Philippine used to be a part of the US.

      Nearness does not give one right to make territorial claim. China owns it first.

      • @kyh

        Excuse me it’s already in your doorstep! You mean anyone just be mum about it? Think man!

      • kyh says:

        According to Elena’s statement, India should totally be the mum of Sri Lanka.

      • Alaska was purchased from Russia on March 30, 1867, for $7.2 million ($120 million in today’s dollars) at approximately two cents per acre ($4.74/km²). The land went through several administrative changes before becoming an organized (or incorporated) territory on May 11, 1912, and the 49th state of the U.S. on January 3, 1959.[5]

        IT WAS NOT TAKEN BY FORCE …nor by proximity….

      • Alaska was part and near Russia and was sold by Russia to US. Review your history!

      • kyh says:

        That’s right, that’s exactly my point. Since US own it first, Canada cannot claim “since it is closer to us, we should get it back from US”. Since you all feel US has all the right to own Alaska, so does China. Proximity does not mean anything in this case

      • ao says:

        @Elena W. Lemi,
        EEZ cannot trump existing Sovereignty. It is not in the doorstep.
        If you put your big EEZ doorstep over my house, does it make my house yours?
        Your statement is backward.

      • I think it’s the other way around.

      • Let your Chinese claim be validated! Let your claim be proven as a VALID CLAIM….refer to Internal Laws to validate it! As a permanent member of the UN-Security Council, YOUR country should abide with INTERNATIONAL NORMS and CONDUCT! Your country cant claim to be great if it BULLIES a small; country! Be a MODEL COUNTRY in abiding UN POLICIES!! Follow UNCLOS !! YOUR COUNTRY has ratified it!! Follow!!!

      • chowchowkaw says:

        I’ll purchase china with 3kilos of shabu.

    • kyh says:

      I mean “get it from”

    • Zelda says:

      Proximity to a territory is not an automatic right to sovereignty. If what you said was true, then by right Corsica should belong to Italy and not France. Similarly Britain should surrender the Falklands to Argentina, Alaska should belong to Canada and not USA, etc.

  2. Pinoy Ako says:

    Then why is it China dont want to solve the issue on United Nation? If China really want to solve this issue peacefully, then have this resolve thru United Nation. No bullying… This documentation is biased and should not be considered…

  3. mah lee bogg says:

    As the world knows, we Filipinos are friendly people but when provoked, we will fight till the end defending our territory. Historically, we have already fought several times to protect our sovereignty against the Spaniards, the Americans, and the Japanese. So, whoever who will infiltrate our territorial land, water and sea… be careful!

    • Sean Coonery says:

      You don’t exactly have a stellar record when it comes to war. You guys waged an insurgency against the US and were brutally massacred

      • for the Philippines is never an IMPERIALIST nation like US!! Dont you remember the Vietnam War Sean? so dont speak as if your country is so GREAT!!!! History will tell how your country played the world!

  4. markman says:

    scarborough shoal is our!do you think the filipino is afraid of your war ships?

  5. Observer says:

    Philippines has repeated records of claiming other country’s territories.
    One example is their claim of the Malaysian state of Sabah.
    Philippines is an opportunistic country only hoping that USA will back their mischief.

    • Sabah was owned by the Philippines. It was pawned to Malaysia by the sultan then. Read the history first before making such comment.

      • Mahathir says:

        Utter non-sense. Just ask the people of Sabah if they want to be ruled by corrupt Flipinos. Sabah belongs to Malaysia – before, now and forever.

    • Mark Walters says:

      try using google my friend.. or better yet wikipedia

      • Mahathir says:

        Hahaha!!! Uncle Sam won’t even support the bid of Flipinos to claim Sabah!

      • jaylovette says:

        @Mahathir. First of all, everything you said (and will say) is/will always be wrong. Secondly, Shut up! Take your arguments about Sabah somewhere else. This thread is about the Philippine’s Scarborough Shoal.

      • Ryan Abella says:


        regarding sa Sabah, the original claimants are the Sultanate of Sulu… in 1878 the ruler of Sulu leased his northern Borneo territory to the representatives of the British North Borneo Company… in 1885 the Sulu Sultanate later came under the control of Spain in Manila but the British still maintained control of North Borneo… aftward the Americans replaced Spanish rule, and in 1906 and in 1920, the United States formally reminded Great Britain that North Borneo did not belong to the Crown and was still part of the Sultanate of Sulu. However, the British did turn Sabah into a Crown Colony… and after WW2 the British annexed the northern Borneo territory and establish a new colonial govt in which the people of North Borneo (Sabah) happily accepted the new colonial regime…

        The Philippine Constitution of 1941 states that the national territory of the Philippines included, among other things, “all other areas which belong to the Philippines on the basis of historical rights or legal claims”. Malaysia was federated in 16 September 1963. Even before Sabah was incorporated into Malaysia, the Philippines sent delegations to London reminding the British Crown that Sabah belonged to the Philippines…

        so, regarding Phil claim for Sabah, it was based on historical facts which definitely stated that Sabah was owned and governed by the Sultanate of Sulu which was ceded in1885 to Spanish rulers in Manila and was finally legalized by the reigning Sultan in 1962 to be governed by the Phil gov…

        while the Chines claim to the Scarborough Shoal may also be based on historical reasons but could only provide evidence of sea maps, fishing and trading routes and gave no indication of any EFFECTIVE CONTROL or GOVERNANCE on the disputed territory…

      • ao says:

        @Ryan Abella
        Your have a one sided view, shallow perspective.

        If an expert accountant come to my house, point out how bad my accounting methods are non-existent, how bad it is. He made a complete check list of what I own. I agree to learn adopt his accounting method. Does the fact that this accountant has better record of my properties make him the owner of my properties? Does it gives him right to sell my properties? That would be ridiculous, right?

        Ryan, what you quoted come from imperialistic period, when the British, the Spanish, the Portuguese, etc, were the bad accountants. They went around the world document found islands and continents. Assign ownership, trade properties all without owners’ permission. That’s how American Indians lost their homeland. They conquered and created so many colonies. Are you saying we should, in our right mind, honor those ownership records?

        Leave the imperial documents out of this discussion. Let the Philippines and Chinese sit down peacefully and discuss on a settlement.

      • Malaysia is afraid of the Filipino claim to Sabah…..malaysia didnt cooperate when the Philippines invited the later to seek mediation…..for legally speaking, Sabah is part of the Philippines!!

    • Utter non-sense. Just ask the people of Sabah if they want to be ruled by corrupt Flipinos. Sabah belongs to Malaysia – before, now and forever.

      >>> i dis-agree… if i am not mistaken, Philippines is no longer claiming Sabah BECAUSE WE respet the historical basis that it was given to the Malaysians centuries ago…

      >>> FYI…

      The Manila Accord of the Diosdado Macapagal initiative was signed on 31 July 1963 by the Federation of Malaya, the Republic of Indonesia and the Republic of the Philippines, after a meeting of from 7 to 11 June 1963 at Manila The countries have agreed to the wishes of the people of Sabah (North Borneo) and Sarawak within the context of General Assembly Resolution 1541 (XV), 4 Principle 9 of the Annex, by a fresh approach, which in the opinion of the Secretary-General is necessary to ensure complete compliance with the principle of self-determination within the requirements embodied in Principle 9,[1][2] taking into elections in Sabah (North Borneo) and Sarawak by an elections were free and there was no coercion.[3][4]

      The Accord lists a series of Manila Declaration between Federation of Malaya, the Republic of Indonesia and the Republic of the Philippines and Joint Statement by Federation of Malaya, the Republic of Indonesia and the Republic of the Philippines

    • Geo says:

      Philippines is the real owner of Sabah. There are documents that can prove it. Sabah is a reward to a Sultan in Mindanao.
      But, the community in that island wanted to be a part of Malaysia; that’s why Sabah is now a part of Malaysia.

  6. This link is really a one sided story. China is like a big brother bullying a small brother the Philippines. As a chinese, we were taught by our parents that a big brother should always give way to a smaller sibling. This is a chinese teachings. It just happen that China now had a one child policy so how could the genuine chinese tradition be taught to this & next generations?

  7. Mark Walters says:

    it could be a fact that china did discover the land back in 12th century but international sea laws says that it is under Philippine sovereignty which was signed by china itself.. china cant just claim a territory base on history its like if china discovered the moon then its theirs..

    • Guardian says:

      China’s claim is not based on history alone as you can see China’s Radio enthusiasts were there. Chinese fishermen were there for centuries and some of the more recent ones were arrested by the Filipino military. Ancient Chinese wreck ships were also found there.

      • All that you had said does not mean China owned it. This was a passage that olden times ships used. Wake up! The shoal is very near to Zambales. Try with proof to change my mind!

      • China’s claim is not based on history alone as you can see China’s Radio enthusiasts were there. Chinese fishermen were there for centuries and some of the more recent ones were arrested by the Filipino military. Ancient Chinese wreck ships were also found there…..

        >>> uhm, so you mean to say if other countries relics were found in some weaker, less influencial country, then that smaller country looses sovereignity…. Just remember, what happened to JAPAN, GERMANY and other countries who tried to do the same…. just my two cents…

    • kyh says:

      UNCLOS is not suitable in this case since China owns the shoal first.

    • Geo says:

      Actually, China is using its historical maps to prove that the Huangyan Is. (and the Spratly Islands) are theirs; specifically the map drawn by a scholar during the time of Kublai Khan. Unfortunately for them, they already used this idea against Vietnam when they wanted to claim an island (I think it is the Paraceli Is.) in South China Sea.
      Therefore, China cannot use historical facts in claiming islands.

  8. jaylovette says:

    This article is very biased. If we Filipinos give way to China’s intentions, then we will set a bad example for the rest of the world. And that ugly trend will be a substantial reference in building up an int’l. customary law on such territorial disputes.

    Up to this date, China still does not want to take this up in UNCLOS. It’s actions remind me of a certain rogue country in N.E Asia.

    • As expressly noted at the beginning, it’s a Chinese perspective.

      It would be good if you guys could be more specific about the parts you disagree with, and your perspective on those parts.

    • kyh says:

      Your comment is even more biased based on some imagination of Filipino’s “role model effect”. I think you might have exaggerated your country’s importance in the world.

      China does not want to bring it to UNCLOS since it is not suitable in this case. If the islets has been owned by someone else, international sea law does not apply. According to your statement, why don’t you let Sri Lankan just let India own their country according to UNCLOS.

    • China does not want to bring it to UNCLOS since it is not suitable in this case. If the islets has been owned by someone else, international sea law does not apply. According to your statement, why don’t you let Sri Lankan just let India own their country according to UNCLOS.

      >>>kyh,… WHY do you say UNCLOS is not applicable? On what basis? History? existence of relics? than following your logic, then it is a predator its prey kind of situation? i believe filipinos knows our place in the worl as insignificant interms of land mass and population versus china…. but is this a reason for you to claim sovereignity over most of the asian waters? what about TIBET? you are making a mockery of International Law and treatise… i am not surprise if vietnam, philippines and other neighboring countries becaome another TIBET in the making…

      • Shuami says:

        Please, you guys need to read a little more on the laws of UNCLOS and find out more about the jurisdiction of ITLOS (the court where the laws of UNCLOS are interpreted) before you start using it as a basis for your arguments.
        To simply put:
        –On why it does not make sense to go to ITLOS for this sovereignty issue:
        ITLOS is not vested with arbitrary power over SOVEREIGNTY disputes, it can only regulate JURISDICTION disputes arising from the application of the UNCLOS. Therefore, China does not respond to the motion to go to the ITLOS because it does not want to bestow ITLOS such power that it is not vested with in the first place.
        –On why lying within EEZ does not guarantee ownership:
        Regarding the EEZ, UNCLOS stipulates that one first identifies the sovereignty of the land/island before proceeding to identify the EEZ pertaining to the land/island. The simple fact that an island lies within the 200 nautical miles (standard limits of EEZ) of a country’s coast does not give that country a natural right to claim sovereignty over the island, according to the international law principle “the land dominates the sea”. On the contrary, if the island does not belong to the coastal country closest to that island, then the island’s EEZ will preclude the coastal country to claim EEZ extending to that island in the first place.

  9. nice says:

    radio enthusiasts on an adventure. geez. i would love to join that too. but no political crap please. you guys got used.

  10. Observer says:

    Philippines was a colony of USA.
    Her territory was defined by the Treaty of Paris 1898, in Which Spain handed Philippines over to USA after the Spainish-US war. The western limit of Philippines territory was set at 118 degree east, according to the Treaty of Paris and the Scarborough shoal is outside this limit.

    After independence from USA, Philippines made all kinds of claims including the Malaysian State of Sabah, hoping they will get lucky. Philippines also wanted to take Malaysia to the World Court.
    Who cares?

    • FYI, philippines already relinquished its claim over sabah and sarawak and respected the decision of the people that they wanted to be part of malaysia… so THAT IS OUT OF THE QUESTION… treaise with malaysia and indonesia has been ratified and acknowledge

      • Guardian says:

        Philippines has not relinquished her claim on Sabah. In fact Philippines continued to ask the World Court to intervene in her claim for Sabah.
        Let’s just ignore this mischievous and quarrelsome country.

      • hmmm in that case i stand corrected (i may have not done enough research before i made the statement)… although i agree with some of the sentiment… that if the people living in Sabah wants / do not want to be part of the Philippines, that should be repected… though i am not sure what exactly would possible political implications be…

  11. jaylovette says:

    Mr. Chinese guy, you mentioned, “We don’t need surveillance vessels, we need the navy.” What do you need the navy for? I think that’s so unfair. We don’t send our navy in the shores of Hongkong….

    • I’m an australian doing phd research on PRC public opinion & the South China Sea disputes.

      “We don’t need surveillance vessels, we need the navy,” you will find if you read the post, is a quote from a popular comment thread on a Chinese news website.

      The purpose of this website (aside from building up case studies for my research project) is to let people know what’s in the PRC media & internet, and provide some snapshots of what the online population are saying.

      Translation ≠ endorsement.

      • jaylovette says:

        I apologize. I did not know. If this is part of your methodology on your dissertation, then it’s a great venue in getting the comments of Filipinos about this matter.

      • No problem, thanks for stopping by.

      • southseaconversations… we acknowledge that you are doing this for scholarly/academic purposes… but it is indeed a very touchy subject and on-going international arbitration thru the UN has been refused by china stating that ” the RP should not INTERNATIONALISE” the issue… however, plase do clearly indicate the one mentioned above that this blog is on a “Chinese” perspective. Don’t you wonder why China stated that press statement? If they are indeed correct and just in their claims, wouldn’t thay want their claim to be honored and acceted by the international community to avoid any dispute and possible violence?

      • The issue is ownership of the islands, or rather rocks, so UNCLOS can’t actually provide a solution.

        Philippines says Scarborough belongs to Philippines, China says it belongs to China. It is just a stalemate once you get to that point, because in reality no country has exercised clear jurisdiction over the feature. There has never been any genuine authority there – fishermen from both sides of the sea (and probably other countries too) have been fishing in the area for eons.

      • true… in that notion, i agree… that there is currently no pertinent authority that can provide guidance on the materiality and substantiality of the claims……

      • So far there are at least three core international legal codes at play: UNCLOS, the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea between China and ASEAN, and the 1951 US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty. Needless to say, these particular corpuses of law will be operating under a broader set of underlying rules and norms of international law restated in the Geneva Conventions and their precursors, the entire UN system itself, as well as the relevant decisions of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) sitting at The Hague.

        Even for China there are many legal avenues. However, the Chinese government’s carte blanche declaration that the “South China Sea” belongs to China, without regard to the penumbra of sea-use rights under UNCLOS, is not one of these avenues. The ways in which one might be able to field a sufficient territorial claim under UNCLOS requires a proffering of technical extrinsic evidence, one will need maritime experts and professionals accustomed to scientific fact finding, all in turn outcome determinative of applicable legal norms. The salient dispute settlement provisions of UNCLOS are one thing, and marshalling the evidence, quite another.

      • Actually china doesn’t claim the whole sea, even though the nine-dash line seems to imply that – it claims the islands (and rocks) & their “adjacent waters”, meaning 12nm territorial seas.

        That doesn’t help resolve the disputes, of course, because co-claimants also claim the islands.

        China cannot make this position too clear, or proceed in any dispute resolution on this basis, however, because the Chinese public would see any such clarification as a contemptible back-down, as i showed in my post on that issue last month:

      • in that case, what exactly is china claiming? and why does china refuse to ratify a MULTI lateral talk? Why is it then trying to engange other smaller countries for a BI-lateral talk? just throwing questions for discussion …after reading your other post… I admit, my biad was prevalent because I thought the whole premise was china claiming almost ALL of South China Sea. I stand corrected. Still I would really want to know what exactly are they claiming and what possible motive for making such claim. 🙂

      • Why does china refuse multilateral talks? Because it is much stronger than each of its rival claimants bilaterally, much less so if they were to negotiate as a bloc.

        China’s motivations for claiming the islands? We have to remember that “china” is not simply a monolithic unit, but in general it’s the energy resources, fisheries, future strategic security (esp. for the PLA Navy + some govt agencies like the NDRC), elite nationalism (ie. leaders’ belief that they really do belong to china), and maybe popular nationalism (what I am testing in my research).

        What exactly is China’s claim? All of the islands within the 9-dash line. Which islands does that mean exactly? Not clear, because the line only has 9 dashes!

      • i would really love to read your dissertation after you publish this. 🙂 hope you can make it available to public reading 🙂

  12. Ryan Abella says:

    China’s claiming sovereignty over 648,000 square miles of sea bordering on eight countries is absolutely untenable. And the US ought to say so. Playing on the ambiguities in the American position and on weaknesses plaguing perceptions of its commitment to the region, the Chinese are content to slowly turn up the heat on the South and East China Seas. US silence abets their aspirations.

    The Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoals dispute is not just the Philippines’ problem. It is even a bigger problem for the US and all who rely on American leadership in the region such as Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand. Left unchallenged, the Chinese claim could one day leave the American Pacific Fleet asking for Chinese permission to enter the area or to even conduct routine operations. In another 10-years, the US will have a real crisis on its hands as the Chinese develops its navy. Perhaps, some kind of conflict between the US and China is inevitable in our lifetime.

    The South and East China Seas must be open freely for commerce and navigation like the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. It is not China’s private pond. Pax Brittanica enforced the neutrality of the seas and the American Special Relationships policy of laissez-faire free trade, to gain market outlets for American and British products in Asia and the world. The only way the Chinese can attain supremacy would be to compete with the US Navy which has been in the South and East China Seas region since the 1800’s supplanting that of the UK.

    • Guardian says:

      When Philippines gained independence form the US, her territory as defined by the Treaty of Paris 1898, did not include the Spartly Islands, the Scarborough Shoal or the State of Sabah of Malaysia. This is why US is ambiguous backing the Philippines claims. USA has not rectified the UN Law of the Sea neither does US recognize the 200 miles exclusive economic zone. There is therefore no legal foundation for US to back Philippines except for geo-political gains ie to use the conflict to sell weapons to Philippines.

      • jaylovette says:

        No. Selling arms is not a factor in this case. The U.S. is supporting the Philippines and doing joint military exercises with them because of its strategic location as the gateway in east asia. And the U.S. is being threatened by the increasing growth of China’s power and to help their monitoring efforts of N. Korea’s dubious actions. It needs to have a constant presence in that region through its allies like the Philippines.

  13. to the person kyh
    April 27, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    This is stupid. Alaska is closer to Canada compare to US. Guam is thousands of miles away from the US. Even Philippine used to be a part of the US.

    Nearness does not give one right to make territorial claim. China owns it first.

    >>>> FYI, alaska became part of the USA because it was PURCHASED from the russian, not taken by forced nor claimed without basis otherwise… …

    Alaska was purchased from Russia on March 30, 1867, for $7.2 million ($120 million in today’s dollars) at approximately two cents per acre ($4.74/km²). The land went through several administrative changes before becoming an organized (or incorporated) territory on May 11, 1912, and the 49th state of the U.S. on January 3, 1959.[5]

    • jaylovette says:

      Geography has nothing to do in terms of owning a disputed territory in the int’l. stage. It’s all about power, diplomacy, and politics.

      I saw the movie “Blast From the Past.” I heard Brandon Frasier’s character say that.

      China can just purchase Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines.

    • fen says:

      “china owned it first” – well prove it!! no not with a supposed ancient map. but concrete can be seen. like economic activity, habitation for a considerable amount of time, but how can you when the place is mostly underwater. fishing?! well if chinese fished there much so the filipinos since its much closer for them. basically china claims are groundless

  14. Surveying an area without establishing a civilization there or a military garrison does not hold the same political weight as staking an official claim. However, the PRC’s claim to the Spratly Islands is grounded in the philosophy that since they were present there first they rightly have sovereignty.

    Many of these claims to sovereignty come directly from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China. There is also doubt as to whether these sources state a claim of sovereignty or simply mention the Spratlys alongside other foreign lands.

    Claims of pottery being found are mostly shipwrecked treasure from Chinese galleons that sailed through the area and did not necessarily come from anyone who inhabited or even visited the islands.[25] (wiki)


    The Philippines made their first claim in the area–which they
    refer to as the Kalayaan islands–in 1975 and has been developing
    oil in the region between the Spratlys and the island of Palawan
    since 1976. The Philippines real history in the region began in May
    1956 when a private Philippine expedition surveyed and occupied
    some of the islands. The Philippines were a trusteeship of the
    Allied powers at the time and the guarantee of Allied protection
    kept the Philippines from garrisoning troops on its islands.
    However, as that guarantee weakened the Philippines decided to beef
    up its defense. In 1976, it set up a garrison on Palawan and in
    1978 it established more soldiers on seven of the islands. There
    are currently about 1,000 Marines stationed on the islands. In
    1979, the Philippines stated that it only wanted control of the
    seven islands under its control and administration and not the rest
    of the archipelago.

    China and Vietnam are the main protagonists in the dispute.
    Vietnam claims to the islands–which they call the Truong Sa
    islands–are part of the empire of Annam, Vietnam’s ancestor, in
    the l9th century. In 1815, an expedition sent by king Gia Long to
    chart sea lanes occupied and settled the islands. The French, who
    were Vietnamws colonial rulers, annexed the Spratlys in 1933, so
    Vietnam says the islands are theirs as the inheritors of the French
    possessions. In September 1973, Vietnam declared that the Spratlys
    were part of the Phuoc Tuy province. It has since stated that the
    Philippines are occupying part of its territory. Vietnam currently
    holds three islands.

    China’s claims to the island are based on the same history as
    Taiwan’s claim. The PRC government maintains that it is the
    legitimate Chinese government and that, therefore, the
    islands–which they call the Nansha islands–are their territory.
    They have been the most belligerent in pursuing their claim. The
    dispute between China and Vietnam picked up in 1988. Chinese naval
    vessels sailed into the Spratlys in January 1988 and Chinese
    marines started building defenses on one of the largest
    islands–the first time China has settled soldiers on the islands.
    In March, fighting broke out between Vietnam and China and China
    sunk two Vietnamese ships. While they have moved to more political
    means of dealing with the dispute, tensions remain high in the
    area. Confrontation surfaced again when China contracted with a US
    firm to begin testing for oil sights, even though the territorial
    issue remains far from solved. Occassional harassment of fishermen
    by all sides continues as well. Each of the six countries maintain
    its claim to all the islands. The protagonists have been discussing
    the possibility of shelving the sovereignty issue to undertake
    joint development of its resources and have sent a joint scientific
    team to run tests on resource potential.

    The dispute has not been taken to any official forum as of this
    date. Indonesia tried to start talks among the disputants. Jakarta
    believed that as a non-involved Asian country, it could be an
    impartial mediator. No decisions on sovereignty were reached at the
    meetings but the disputants did agree to send a scientific team to
    the islands to assess their resource potential and the
    environmental condition.

    • Guardian says:

      The Scarborough Shoal is not part of the Spratly or Nansha Islands.
      I think u have posted something unrelated.

  16. Kung-Pao says:

    Now its a fact that the maker or writer of this blog is a none sense Biach! A one sided moron! Now We know that this fucking Web page is just a thought spinner to benefit the side of the Chinese, The world is not that stupid to believe in a bullshit presentation like this one ”Facts Matters” Im a Filipino-Chinese and I hate this type of publication.

    • Don’t mind u abusing me, but I had to screen ur other comment. Keep it civil thanks.

    • Kung-Pao,
      In defense of this blog, if you read thru the whole blog articles (not just this one), the author is trying to gather data in his dissertation. This topic is just one of the many topics in this complex issue. After reading the other articles in this blog, you will find out that this article in particular is more on determining the basis and motivations for the claims… I am a full-blooded filipino, and like you, my bias overshadowed my ability to look at the overall objective that author is trying to obtain… no need for name-calling kabayan…

      • Allen says:

        To all concerned:

        Regarding SABAH…It only shows that the Philippines accepted and respected the Rule of Law, thats why Philippines let the Malaysian own it even though we believe that the Sultanate of Sulu have the rights over it.. And we will abide and respect what would be the decision of the International body regarding Scarborough or Spratly’s…I hope Chinese will respect it also and not to impose its will by it’s military might!! I wonder why they dont want to go to ITLOS if they have a strong case and really own them..Prove it!! I will quote Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Weimin “What a world it would be if a country could, at its own will raise another country’s territory to international Arbitration” and this is my reply
        ” What a world it would be if a country could at its own will and sheer military might will impose its right over the other country’s territory!!! Thats the reason why United Nations was formed. To prevent other Nations with a Bigger than life ego to bully and impose its military might to a country with lesser capability…or else we will have another Hitler in the making who believes he can own the world because he believe its Theirs by their so made Historical rights!!

  17. jaylovette says:


    You know what, I am certain this dispute won’t get resolved in our lifetime. So, what I would like to happen is that after all options have been exhausted and failed, those involved in the Scarborough Shoal dispute must consider Korea’s Demilitarization Zone (DMZ) case. No one must be allowed to enter the area. Just leave it as it is – let nature take care of it. In that way, somehow everybody wins.

    • Observer says:


      The chinese were so afraid and chilling over india’s nuclear missile that could reach the heart of china, that’s why they are bullying smaller countries for relief of their fears…..i just read it from arab news…peace!

      • Interesting, how does the Scarborough dispute help secure China from Indian nuclear threat?

        Can you post the link?

      • Observer says:

        sorry for that, i just dropping by, the link could not be found anymore, but i would like to see a war between the chinese and the filipinos…real war. Very Entertaining i guess, I want to see the battle of David and Golliath in the new era. People die that’s normal, you die yesterday, you die today or tomorrow it’s the same. Scarborough could be the ignition i’ve waited for.


        “Those who can win a war well can rarely make a good peace and those who could make a good peace would never have won the war.”
        — Winston Churchill

        Sorry for that but please don’t hate me…

      • Shuami says:

        Thanks for translating the original sohu photo journal (in Chinese) and post it here. Are you aware that your translation has been quoted in Wikipedia for the entry “Scarborough Shoal”? Anyway, I don’t think you can get many responses here from people who really understand the UNCLOS and the jurisdiction of ITLOS. Most of the comments here are emotionally charges proclamations from either side. However, the article by Mr. Victor Arches III titled “It Belongs to China” (I know, another rather provoking title) does present some historical references and legal arguments regarding the status of this Shoal (or island). You may have already come across it. There are also some pretty interesting comments in the user comment section (among those nationalistic rants). I have collected some of the informative ones and saved them in a google doc. If you are interested, here a link to it. Good luck in preparing your dissertation!

      • Thanks but the google doc link is broken, at least for me. You might need to make it public?

        I am suspicious of where that Victor Arches article came from because it only said what the Chinese govt has been saying, without adding anything to the debate. The map debate & Guo Shoujing argument is silly. Does America own the moon? And to say that fishermen from China and Taiwan have used Huangyan since such-and-such a time hardly means that Filipino, Malay, and Vietnamese fishermen did not use the shoal too.

        In my view it’s quite obvious that NO country has exercised effective control over Huangyan, so no country has a better claim to “sovereignty” than the other.

        The question im really interested in is this: if China does establish effective control of Huangyan, what are the implications under UNCLOS? Since Huangyan is an uninhabited rock that cannot sustain human life, it does not generate a 200nm EEZ under UNCLOS. Instead it would generate a 12nm area of Chinese territorial waters, surrounded by the Philippines EEZ as measured from the coast.

      • Shuami says:

        Whoops, I guess I have provided an incomplete URL, here it is again: Hope it works this time.
        You’re right that the map and Guo Shoujing reference are rather weak argument as far as sovereignty is concerned. And the fact that the area has been frequented by fishermen from all nearby countries also makes it a moot point. So all parties are about equal on these fronts. But if all things equal, the fact that it is China that made the earliest legal claim, as well as several amateur radio EXpedition to the Shoal to establish terrestrial claim (plus early documented scientific expeditions in the 80’s and 90′) probably provides the strongest legal arguments. To quote beruto.canto who commented on Arches’ article:
        “If we simply lay other evidence to the side, the simple fact that the Philippines never officially claimed the Scarborough atoll until the 1990s while China has done so according to modern international law practice since 1935 (or 1947 with the dash-line in its official map) will work against the Philippines’ claim. More importantly, the fact that the Philippine official maps did not include Scarborough and Kalayaan until recently is damning evidence against our claim. It does not matter that our fishermen have been fishing there along with Chinese fishermen, in international law, it’s the State actions and policies that matter. No, unfortunately this will not be a stalemate, because with existing evidence the Philippines simple doesn’t seem to have strong legal basis for this claim, and it certainly does not have the force to implement such claim if all else fails.”
        Regarding whether China (if it indeed can make such claim) can generate the claim for the 200nm EEZ or only 12nm territorial waters–good question. However I know that Japan has been able to maintain its 200nm EEZ claim around the Okinotori atoll. The recent ruling only invalidates its continental shelf claim.

      • Japan’s claim to an Okinotori EEZ doesn’t seem to have much international recognition, and it obviously hasn’t been tested in an international court. In fact the PRC itself has formally stated its opposition to the EEZ on the basis that the Okinotori outcrops are only rocks and therefore not entitled to one.

        So I guess that means the Philippines could actually, if it wanted to, cede control and its sovereignty claim over the rock, then continue to try to police the surrounding waters beyond 12nm, including much of the lagoon as a coastal-baseline EEZ.

        But that won’t happen of course — China would get face but would lose too much in the way of resources, especially fisheries, as Chinese fishing would be restricted to a tiny circle. So i would think that’s probably where China’s commitment to UNCLOS would have to end.

        The maps showing Scarborough outside the Philippines boundaries is indeed damning evidence against the PH case for sovereign jurisdiction.

      • Shuami says:

        “Since Huangyan is an uninhabited rock that cannot sustain human life, it does not generate a 200nm EEZ under UNCLOS.”
        Well, there is room for debate over this topic too. What can be defined as “habitable” or “can sustain human life”? Take a look at some of pictures shown on this site (I assume you can read Chinese since you’ve translated the blog here from an original post in Chinese):
        By looking at the pictures, you know that they are “habitable” and “can sustain human life”. I know we are splitting hairs here. But isn’t that lawyers’ job?
        I don’t see why China can’t do the same to Scarborough Shoal, if it chooses to.
        Japan has spent millions to prevent the islets in the Okinotori from disappearing under the water, as 3 of the 5 discovered earlier have already done so. They even tried to grow coral around the atoll.
        So where do you draw the line?!

      • You know, I actually had that gallery earmarked for another translation post!

        With regard to China’s and Japan’s reef structures, UNCLOS explicitly states that artificial structures on rocks or other non-island features do not constitute islands.

        I wasn’t saying there are no islands in the whole SCS, just that Huangyan isn’t one and therefore it wouldn’t generate an EEZ under UNCLOS.

        There are many definite “islands” in the Spratlys – I can think of at least 6 or 7 that have green vegetation. There are a further 9 or 10 debatable islands, which dont appear to be capable of sustaining human life by a normal definition.

        In any case, im pretty sure at least two of the biggest Spratly islands, Itu Aba & Spratly, have (had) fresh water. So EEZs radiating from just these two islands would cover most of the S.China sea. Hence why in the Spratlys, the fate of the islands is absolutely paramount.

        The same just doesn’t apply to Huangyan, as we were discussing earlier. Which is what makes it a challenge for china’s commitment to UNCLOS – even if it establishes sovereignty over the rock, UNCLOS gives it nothing but a 12mile territorial sea. Worse still, of huangyan were resolved according to UNCLOS, then even in the best case scenario for the PRC, everything around Huangyan’s 12-mile ring would become indisputably Philippines EEZ area, off-limits to Chinese fishermen.

      • Shuami says:

        Well, in that case, it seems all that saber rattling is much ado about nothing then.

    • Shuami says:

      I am aware that it is China, among others, that raised the issue regarding the EEZ claim around Okinoyori.
      Well, I guess that until the gravel comes down on Okinotori, there is this ambiguity. China won’t be too upset if it comes down to a ruling that an atoll can’t generate 200nm EEZ, be it Huangyan or Okinotori, Because the 200nm circle around Okinotori situated at a point of strategic significance–half way between Taiwan and Guam, a major pathway for naval vessels. China would legally gain access to this vast expanse of ocean if Japan’s claim to EEZ is judged unsustainable. Then the claim for EEZ around Scarborough/Huangyan won’t hold water either. So you gain some, loose some.

      • Is Japan’s Okinotori EEZ preventing Chinese naval access? EEZs don’t preclude access for foreign warships — even the PRC, which claims that naval surveillance is not allowed in its EEZ, recognizes this.

        So I think the only access China could gain from an Okinotori ruling would be access to some resources under the high seas which otherwise would have been inside Japan’s EEZ.

        That is indeed tantalizing possible solution…. But I don’t think there’s anywhere near enough upside for China to consider clarifying its position on anything SCS-related.

        For as long as it looks like China is getting stronger militarily relative to its co-claimants, I would think the leadership will continue to treasure ambiguity.

      • Shuami says:

        Yes, I agree with you on both of these points. Ambiguity at present time is probably advantageous to China. That’s why the 9-dotted line. And that’s why Deng’s famous remark. But China has given all indications that it’s ready to take a bite at the big pie now–with the deployment of its first deep sea drilling platform recently near Hong Kong, albeit this time in the undisputed water.
        There is news recently that Philippine’s Philex Mining Corp may sign an agreement with China’s China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOP) to jointly develop the gas field near Reef bank:
        This is actually a win-win solution for both, if they can put the sovereignty issue aside. After all who really cares about the rocks, or even the fishing ground around them? It’s all about what’s lie underneath them!
        I think Peter Lee’s article on Asian Times has the most accurate view of the situation:
        The riddle of the Scarborough Shoals

      • Thanks for the Peter Lee article — very informative, and i like his wry take on the big issues.

  18. You know what I feel right now….I’d call Hulk to smash those islands/rocks for no one to claim.

    Seriously, I fear for my family and love ones with all these stand-offs that might get out of hand!

    Leaders of all countries involved should act as civilized adults and have this dispute solved for the benefits of all!

    Peace to all mankind!

  19. Hmmm…..You know what I feel right now….I’d call Hulk to smash those islands/rocks for no one to claim.

    Seriously, I fear for my family and love ones with all these stand-offs that might get out of hand!

    Leaders of all countries involved should act as civilized adults and have this dispute solved for the benefits of all!

    Peace to all mankind!

  20. […] which the Chinese refer to as an island and the Filipinos call a shoal. While the land mass is almost comically tiny, the two countries are vying for control of the territory to bolster their claims to fish, coral […]

  21. […] territory, that a Chinese impute to as an island and a Filipinos call a shoal. While a land mass is almost comically tiny, a dual countries are opposed for control of a domain to accelerate their claims to fish, coral and […]

  22. tagabantay says:

    The big question is, what country is the closest to the shoal? We don’t want history, we want to follow the law over the sea. Yes, we are small country compared to ROC with big ships, advance technologies, with missiles, with radars, with big guns, with many warships, we Filipinos accept that fact. We are united, we are trying to maintain our sovereignty, we tried to , but they ignore it, because the Philippines will won in the battle. Make sense to the map Chinese if you have common sense, if you don’t have any common sense, (sorry for the word) it makes you an id*ot country around the world. Peoples are watching you and laughing at you China. China signed the ITLOS that the Scarborough (Huangyan) is part of the Philippines, and now they tried to own it again?.. Very d*mb people. They can’t claim it by historical events, spaniards only discovered Philippines, but the Philippines now is an independent country now. Nakakahiya kayo China sa buong mundo, kaliit na isla inaangkin nyo, kulang nalang sa inyo na lahat ng nakapaligid sa inyo! Makasarili!.

  23. kottmyer says:

    Nice ham radio pictures, though.

  24. shinjikenny says:

    Well those pictures of amateur radio operators does not prove anything… You should know that most Filipinos are poor and can’t afford a camera 😛
    China keeps telling people that their ancestors have been fishing there..
    But isn’t it more likely that Filipinos would go fishing there than the Chinese because the shoal is near to Philippines than China?
    How does their ancestor fish on that area? What method do they use to refrigerate their fish while travelling back to their country (considering the time it will take to travel from the shoal to China and they only manually row the boat)?

    I also noticed that this blog is biased.. They pointed out that the chinese fishermen were detained and make it appear that they are being oppressed..
    But we all know that the chinese are famous for doing illegal things. And most of these fishermen were detained because of catching ENDANGERED SPECIES.

    • shinjikenny says:

      Just try to search for pictures of the fishermen that were caught at the stand-off. You’ll see that they are catching endangered clams…

  25. Karat Chef says:

    To the people of the world, I call for the spirit of the innate-vigilance in every soul that reads this article to be with us; Pilipinos. This time, i will ask not of your financial support for armory or charity as what our pity politicians does. I do not ask for your physical support or presence in any global protest my countrymen is cooking in every state of your country. I am here to ask for the greatest, most noble, creative and diplomatic way of living a “china-free” life. All things in the world is practically made in china, it is their power over us. We are at an economic war against the greatest tyrant ever. an old friend which use to sell us goods and services dating back so long ago that their ancient emperors will be awakened of this abomination they’ve created.

    We have to act now or else, every china product you buy will be paying for the very bullets that will punch a hole in the head of my countrymen including our siblings’, parents’ and children’ when war arises. I humbly know that we Pilipinos are economically weak, my people has their spirit broken by poverty and false sovereignty; but it doesn’t mean that we cannot call for a global support and warn everybody else of the possible things that may happen. as you see, if the Chinese government can do it to us, then they can do it to your country as well. Since I cannot go to the streets to protest. i’ll endure from consuming and buying chinese-labeled foods from supermarkets and won’t even buy from their local chinese merchants here even just for gift purposes (chinatown, divisoria, tutuban & etc). if all pinoys, or those at hearts and compassionate to this call (FROM ALL OVER THE GLOBE) will sacrifice by eating locally produced foods and buy local products, we will not just maintain the money (foreign reserves, gold reserves) within our circulation, we can also show the world that its possible to boycott the fruits of their labor. by such, their government will significantly feel the punch.

    compute how much things you have in your house that is made in china and realise how generous you have been to them. its time to stop supporting them. remember, their power comes from every reserves our central bank pays the IMF for the products and services we acquire from them. i know its hard to do for now, but you will find it easier as time goes by.

    Lets do our own best ways to be financially, economically and patriotically responsible for our country. a substantial local boycott of these chinese imports may not only weaken their economy but will let their own kind (the chinese expats) express their financial woes to their government. Even if china controls 97% of rare earth market, it doesn’t change the fact that china isn’t the world. even the greatest oppressors has been tumbled by the majority. it is historically proven and it all happened because of simple individual belief and faith. faith and belief so individually weak like a strand of stick in a bunch of sweeper, but strong enough to sweep a land of dirt if combined. have you not learned how the people has won over the country from the late dictator? its not because of people power in edsa, its just a visual and final demonstration. its because of the people’s voluntary boycott to his cronies and business allies which had the voice to command the rise and fall of a ruler. i have revised this for so many times because your support and those with you counts. you are an important part of the sweeper we want to create to clean the world of these corrupt power trippers.
    1.) They (chinese expats & businessmen) will be heard because of our boycott.
    -these are politically influential people which voices can crumble or build governments.
    -Our purchases may be statistically insignificant for them but if we convice everybody and the world to stop patronizing their produces then it will be a powerful spear that may pierce their ambitious flight. they have soared with their belief, only our belief and faith can decide their fate.
    2.) Our Central Bank Reserves will rise.
    -due to smaller imports to pay with gold or foreign reserve
    3.) We’ll have a better credit standing in IMF
    -HIgher budget for armory due to higher Bank Reserves that will avail us more defense.
    4.) We buy local products which will help the majority of producers.
    -Supermarkets has cheaper produces compared to the local market but i prefer to buy in local market because the profit goes to those who needs my money; not for the benefit of the complicated graphical lines defined by PSE
    5.) We will be free from consumerism that has long withheld our ancestors.
    -You think you need chinese products? look better around and see the most creative of ways to live a chinese-free-life. consumerism blinds you; it makes you think you need the things you actually want. believe me, im prvately hired by companies to produce schemes to market their products.
    6.) They will realise the toll of threatening their cash cows.
    -hence, will think twice nextime

    -Karat Chef

  26. SuperKamote says:

    Great! Maybe the Philippines is China’s too. They used to fish on Boracay sometimes on Manila Bay if the occasion calls for it.

    Thinking that everything is chinese is one of the side effects of those all cure fetus chinese fetus pills.

  27. jaylovette says:

    it’s not just the Philippines.

    chinese transnational issues:

    india – jammu, kashmir, & arunachal pradesh to the base of the himalayas
    pakistan – azad kashmir & northern areas
    bhutan – bhutan’s northwest & along the chumbi salient
    vietnam/ph/taiwan/malaysia/brunei – s. china sea
    japan – senkaku-shoto or iaoyu tai
    n. korea – certain islands in the yalu and tumen rivers

    • jaylovette says:

      china is in conflict w/ those countries over the mentioned territories. i know this article is about the scarborough shoal and the west philippine sea, but it’s also nice to add a little perspective on how china relates w/ the said states as well.

  28. joel says:

    ..juat leave it to UNITED NATIONS and see who will be stand for that island, but common sense that island is almost at door step of the PHILIPPINE REPUBLIC!!!

  29. […] de Masinloc (and has certainly never called it Huangyan Island). Second, as the Sohu photo tour translated here a couple of weeks ago clearly shows, there are no sovereignty markers on Huangyan for the […]

  30. […] de Masinloc (and has certainly never called it Huangyan Island). Second, as the Sohu photo tour translated here a couple of weeks ago clearly shows, there are no sovereignty markers on Huangyan for the […]

  31. World Scholar says:

    It is historically true that the Chinese reached this place long time ago … Even the province of Pangasinan in the Philippines was invaded by marauding Chinese led by Limahong, a Chinese pirate …

    Please read more about Limahong (he even have a statue in the Philippines)

    In fact, many of Limahong’s men settled in the Philippines and started to glue well with the locals together with Chinese traders who came with their porcelain and china wares and has left a great influence in Philippine culture and tradition, including food, like siopao and pancit …

    But as history would have it, these Chinese marauders and invaders (as the local people called them) were defeated in ancient war of long ago to the combined Spanish and Filipino forces … They were pushed back or died in the sea during the conflict and survivors went back to their nearest island, Hainan …

    In conclusion, the question that they saw (or to some extent, discovered) the islands or shoals being disputed is not a question actually … but what happen after all these so-called discoveries and sights of these islands … Are there superseding treatises, selling or agreements that changed the course of these island’s history?

    Historically, if ever Chinese discovered these shoals and reefs, it is also most probable that they have abandoned these shoals because, one thing, it is hard to maintain and there are no food, no fruit trees to sustain their lives during those days … So they left and abandoned these atolls and islets …

    Nowadays, it’s much more easier to keep and maintain these natural structures and further, because of their strategic locations, they became more important and having sovereignty over them gives an outright ownership of the vast sea, which nowadays is a very busy sea lane and important trade route … aside from the fact that underneath is a vast wealth of fossil fuel that can sustain a big nation such as China for the next 60 years or more …

    We simply can not go back to history because we do not have enough documentation of what had happened then. The most important basis of settlement here are the current and latest laws on the sea as mandated by the United Nations.

  32. Bob says:

    Perhaps somebody should remove any portion of reef which sticks above the water at high tide.?

  33. […] gonzo-patriotic mission to “re-plant” the PRC flag on Scarborough Shoal’s rock, weibo superstar Zuoyeben 作业本 described the motley crew China would be sending over to kick […]

  34. bob says:

    poor Philippines invaded China? LOL. no one is going to believe that lie!

  35. […] China’s so-called Zhongsha Archipelago 中沙群岛 (he doesn’t mention that the only part of this that’s above the water is the rock on Scarborough Shoal, isolated for several hundred […]

    • Retired ENCS, 21 years service, You need my help Philippines I live in Cavite and I'm still old enough to die for a Country I love. says:

      Okay so the Philippines isn’t equipped to protect what is theirs but we THE UNITED STATES can help. Send some of our subs to the area, surface when a Chinese ship is near then dive again. Let them know we are there. The old Cat and Mouse game.

  36. […]  Navy personnel and Philippine MPs at the tiny rock of Scarborough Shoal bearing Philippine flag in South China Sea in 1997. Picture: AFP (photos) […]

  37. David Chatham says:

    David : It seems the Chinese Government wants to take over ever thing. The map surely shows how close the Scarborough Shoals are to the Philippines.
    I say boycott every thing China exports.

  38. Xi Jinping says:

    Oh boy, the 9 dash board has no basis history of South China Sea. China just really want to claim the dispute islands due to it’s natural resources and planning of immigration of there industries on the robbed islands of West Philippine Sea.

    Mr. Chinese President. Do you have honest and having strong moral principles? You’re just plundering Islands without respect the rule of United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea.

    Just so you know here are the article stated of sea disputes:

    The United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea III. The following provisions from UNCLOS 3 may be relevant to the dispute:

    Article 2 and 3: A country can only claim sovereignty over its land and up to 12 nautical miles of sea perpendicular to its coastline (base line)

    Article 60: In the exclusive economic zone, the coastal State shall have the exclusive right to construct and to authorize and regulate the construction, operation and use of artificial islands.

    Article 56: In the exclusive economic zone, the coastal State has sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing the natural resources, whether living or non-living, of the waters superjacent to the seabed and of the seabed and its subsoil, and with regard to other activities for the economic exploitation and exploration of the zone, such as the production of energy from the water, currents and winds

    Article 57: The exclusive economic zone shall not extend beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured

    Article 121: Rocks which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own shall have no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf, but they do count for territorial claims, i.e. claims of up to 12 nautical miles of territorial waters.

  39. Julio says:

    China is a bully

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