2. Q: What’s your comment on the Philippines’ claim on the sovereignty of Huangyan Island?
A: Huangyan Island is China’s territory. It is China that first discovered this island, gave it the name, incorporated it into its territory, and exercised jurisdiction over it.
The Philippine territory is set by a series of international treaties, including the Treaty of Paris(1898), The Treaty of Washington(1900) and the Treaty with Great Britain (1930), none of which ever referred to Huangyan Island or included this island into its territory. Until 1997, the Philippine side has never disputed China’s jurisdiction of and development on Huangyan Island. On the other hand, the Philippines indicated on a number of occasions that Huangyan Island was beyond its territory.
According to the international law, including United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea(UNCLOS), the Philipines’ claim of the juristiction rights and sovereignty rights over Huangyan Island with the arguments of Exclusive Economic Zone(EEZ) is groundless. UNCLOS allows coastal states to claim a 200-nautical-mile EEZ, but coastal states have no rights to infringe on the inherent territory and sovereignty of other countries. The Philippines asserts that Huangyan Island is closer to its territory, but in fact “geographical proximity” has long been dismissed by the international law and practice as the principle of the solution of territory ownership.