Philippines Objects to China's Attempt to Name Benham Rise Features

Philippines complains to China about naming of undersea…

Philippines complains to China about naming of undersea…

WHEN the Philippine Government protested the approval by the Sub-Committee on Undersea Feature Names (SCUFN) of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and its partner, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, of the Chinese names proposed for five undersea features of Philippine Rise (Benham Rise). the naming process has been rolling for 14 years.

The Philippine embassy in Beijing raised concerns with the Chinese government and was considering notifying worldwide hydrographic and oceanographic agencies that deal with the mapping and naming of underwater features to complain about this, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.

Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Philippines would assign its own names to the undersea features of Benham Rise.

The expert said the features named by China were Jinghao and Tianbao Seamounts located some 70 nautical miles east of Cagayan; the Haidonquing Seamount located east at 190 nautical miles; and the Cuiqiao Hill and Jujiu Seamount that form the central peaks of the Philippine Rise undersea geological province.

"Duterte is traitorous and corrupt for selling out cheap to China the sovereign rights of the Philippines and the Filipino people over the West Philippine Sea and Benham Rise", Sison said in an earlier statement. "That's why, similarly, we can't simply be dismissive about China's naming of five seamounts within the Philippine Rise", said former Quezon representative Lorenzo "Erin" Tañada III, the Liberal Party (LP)'s vice president for external affairs.

The Philippines has insisted that foreign ships were allowed into the area, and that there had been as many as 30 foreign licenses granted to survey the area, including from the United States and China.

"Naming doesn't mean they are claiming", said Roque.

"It is imperative that we protect our territory from foreign interests", he said.

"I will be talking about it with NSA (Esperon) and other Cabinet members".

"Bahala kayo kung ano binigay niyo diyan basta kami magtatalaga kami ng Pilipinong pangalan (You can name it whatever you want, we will assign a Philippine name)", Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a media briefing on Thursday.

He said diplomatic ties between the Philippines and China remain intact. "That's how important a name is", the LP leader said.

"The successful naming of features within the Philippines' legal maritime territory further normalizes China's aggressive and all too often unlawful maritime behavior". Trillanes decried China's "abusive actions".

In 2012 the United Nations recognised the Philippines' exclusive economic rights to it as part of its continental shelf.

"That's very clear we have sovereign rights in that area and we can exploit and explore that area", he noted.

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