MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. on Friday said the Philippines would respond to China on its new “standard map” that encroached over the country’s territory in the South China Sea, that several countries already protested.
In a chance interview, Marcos said Philippines “has not changed its approach” on the country’s territory in the resource-rich South China Sea, even as other nations continue to aggressively stake their claims in the area.
“It is other countries around us that have changed their approach. We have received the news that the 9-dash line have been extended to the 10-dash line,” the President told reporters.
“These are the, we have to respond to these and we will but again these are operational details I prefer not to talk about,” he added.
When asked if the Philippines would upscale its response in the West Philippine Sea, Marcos said he was also banking on the support of the international community “because we have stayed true to the rules-based international law especially the UNCLOS.”
It was also important to remain consistent with its strategy.
“I think puts us in very solid ground in terms of our claims for territorial sovereignty, for maritime territory,” he said.
“This has been validated and supported by many, many countries around the world. We should strengthen that and I believe that again is a very big help to the Philippines in continuing to defend our maritime borders,” he said.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2016 already invalidated the nine-dash line.
China claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea — through which trillions of dollars in trade pass annually — despite an international court ruling that Beijing’s entitlement has no legal basis.
Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Brunei also have overlapping claims in parts of the sea, while the United States sends naval vessels through it to assert freedom of navigation in international waters.