Odd: Chinese Scholars Criticize China’s Claim on West Philippine Sea


Many countries recently has lauded the Philippine’s courage to drag China into legal battle, and rejected the bilateral talks that would isolate the case between China and the Philippines.

The decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration to favor the Philippines has justified its cause to bring the matter to international law, even though China has rejected the decision.


Various Chinese scholars with certain knowledge of international law have confirmed that there exist no legal documents to verify the existence of this illegal dotted line.

According to Chinese scholars, the “U-shaped line” first appeared on the Location Map of the South China Sea Islands (Nanhai zhudao weizhi tu) compiled by Fu Jiaojin and Wang Xiguang and was published by Geological Bureau under China Ministry of Home Affairs in 1947.

Some people tried to hold on to the origin of this line with an aim to have an advantegous explanation for China. According to them, the “U-shaped line” was drawn by one person named Hu Jinsui in 1914. Until December 1947, an official from the Republic of China, named Bai Meichu, re-drew this line in his individual map.


The 11-dotted line covered Islands of Dong Sa (Pratas), Hoang Sa (Paracel), Truong Sa (Spratly) and Trung Sa (Macclesfield Bank). However, in 1953, the 11-dotted line was adjusted into 9-dotted line. Two dots in the Tonkin Gulf was removed with no clear reason. In fact, there has so far no document featuring the accurate co-ordinate and location of the “U-shaped line” or “the 9-dashed” line been found.

Scholar, famous commentator of the online Phoenix newspaper (Hongkong, China) Xue Litai warned that China will face various difficulties and challenges from international community if it claims sovereignty over the “9-dashed” line. This scholar pointed out some incorrect points of the “cow-tongue” line.

Other Chinese scholars said that the “cow-tongue” line is only the unilateral claim of China with no firm legal foundation. These scholars also have disagreed with what China has interpreted the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982). This vague interpretation on the jurisdiction without mentioning geological elements of the coastal line or basic line is completely unconvincing.

The UN Arbitral Tribunal has challenged China to submit its arguments not later than August 17. Although China refused to participate in verbal hearing that lasted for more than a week, China is at odds.

China is the big loser according to international law experts. Some people in Hong Kong even staged protest criticizing Chinas claim on almost 90% of the South China Sea. /Bibo Torion/

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