The Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and India have rejected China’s newly released map asserting sovereignty over the South China Sea.
About the new map: The map includes a U-shaped line covering most of the South China Sea, a region marked by disputes and significant trade traffic in which trillions of dollars in trade flow through each year. The new map also has 10 dashes that appear to the east of Taiwan. The line extends into the exclusive economic zones of the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia.
“China’s position on the South China Sea issue has always been clear,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said, according to Reuters. “The competent authorities of China regularly update and release various types of standard maps every year. We hope that relevant parties can view this in an objective and rational manner.”
Rejections: On Thursday, the Philippines called on China “to act responsibly and abide by its obligations,” citing international law and a 2016 ruling in its rejection.
“This latest attempt to legitimize China’s purported sovereignty and jurisdiction over Philippine features and maritime zones has no basis under international law,” the Philippine Foreign Ministry said.
Meanwhile, Malaysia filed a diplomatic protest, and Taiwan firmly stated that it is not part of China.
“No matter how the Chinese government twists its position on Taiwan’s sovereignty, it cannot change the objective fact of our country’s existence,” Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jeff Liu said during a press briefing.
Vietnam also rejected China’s claims, while India lodged a strong protest with China over the map for encroaching on Indian territory.
“We reject these claims as they have no basis. Such steps by the Chinese side only complicate the resolution of the boundary question,” the Indian foreign ministry spokesperson said.
Dispute in films: Throughout the years, the dispute surrounding the South China Sea map has caused several films to be banned in China’s neighboring countries. Movies with the maps that feature the “nine-dash line,” such as Warner Bros.’s 2023 film “Barbie,” DreamWorks’ 2019 animated film “Abominable” and Sony’s 2022 action-adventure film “Uncharted,” have been banned in countries like Vietnam and the Philippines.