Intro:no signs of human habitation are found when the German merchants first mapped and surveyed the Spratly Islands in the early twentiethcentury. Today, about 20 of the islands are occupied by the military forces mainly from China and the Philippines.First Answer: The Spratly Island dispute is a disagreement over right to command and control of both territory and resources and a complex issue, involving numerous claimants with complex concerns and legal issues.Second Answer: Control of the South China Sea, which is located in the West Philippine Sea is one of the world's busiest shipping lanes. It is a group of more than 700 islets, cover a maritime area of 160,000 square kilometers, is supposed to contain, reefs and atolls that is believed to sit above vast natural resources which contains in the area and consist primarily of large deposits of oil, natural gas, hydrocarbon, seafood and other mineral resources. These have become the focal point of a stabilizing territorial dispute between China and the Philippines along with Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam. Third Answer:China in 1995 had already started building structures on Mischief Reef, within the Philippines' Exclusive Economic Zone. But the Tensions between China and the Philippines have risen significantly when the Philippine-chartered gas exploration vessel at Reed Bank was harassed by the Chinese vessels in March 2011. Since then, conflicts in the West Philippine Sea have commonly erupted, most prominently between China and the Philippines. Disagreement about the distribution of the Spratly Islands is the essential problem among the claimants and almost all involved governments have invoked both history and international law to prove their respective sovereignty claims. Each country believes that their claim to the Spratly Islands has a basis in history, economics, and politics
Exclusive-Economic Zone (EEZ) is a zone that is internationally recognized for a nation to exercise economic and environmental control.
Chinas claim to the islands is based on historical usage, its ship captains having sailed across the West Philippine Sea 2,000 years ago and having used the Sea as a regular navigational route during the Han dynasty (206-220 A.D.).“ and The legal basis for claiming the Spratly Islands from China’s perspective comes from early discovery and exploration during the Qing dynasty.Refutation: However, These arguments are subjective, and come at a timePeriod before many international law structures were set in place. This discovery is not enough according to international law to claim sovereignty over a territory. There has to be evidence of permanent settlement and historical commitment, which is mandated by the international community to claim a territory. Since there was no permanent land settlement any historical land based claim is nonexistent in China’s (and any other claimant’s) case. Even though it is possible to acquire territory with the principle of first discovery, by no means does it automatically establish a permanent ownership, because it can be superseded by another claim through the principle of occupation. What occupation means is that the said island or group of islands should not already be occupied by another country or it must be unappropriated (res nullius). Also, a true occupation is one of a physical presence.So while China gives evidence that it discovered the islands many centuries in the past, since the Chinese (whether Taiwan or China) did not continually occupy them since their discovery, their legal argument is not the most persuasive.China's historical interpretation of its sovereignty rights ignores current international law.
Another counterargument states that the Spratly Islands is within the China’s claimed territory. An area defined by the “nine-dash line” which is used by China to claim virtually the South China Sea, stretches hundreds of miles south and east from its most southerly province of Hainan has interfered the rights of the Philippines.In 2009, China submitted a map to the United Nations claiming sovereignty over virtually the entire South China Sea, ignoring legitimate claims well within the rights of other nations bordering the sea.China claims by far the largest portion of territory - an area defined by the "nine-dash line" which stretches hundreds of miles south and east from its most southerly province of Hainan.Refutation: ButUnder the Article 287 and Annex VII of the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea the sovereign rights and jurisdiction over maritime entitlements in the West Philippine Sea is in the Philippines because it constitute the Philippines Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf, or the international seabed. Therefore this so called “nine-dash line” claim of China are invalid and violates the convention. Philippines also complains that the dashes are kept deliberately vague by China so that no one knows its exact claims. (Del Rosario, 2012)
Introduction: The Philippine claim to the Spratly Islands is based on economic need, proximity, and abandonment of rights by all other nations that led to Philippine discovery of the Islands in 1947
Evidence:Principle of terra nullius (no man’s land)There was no effective occupation or a legitimate exercise of sovereignty over the Spratly Islands by any country before the twentieth century.The government of the Philippines claims that before naval technology Progressed by the early 20th centuryThe countries’ who claimed to have been traveling there are false because of the long distances it would have taken to travel there and the level of danger that those travels involved. Because travel to the islands would have been arduous, the Spratly Islands were an unoccupied territory and did not belong to any country.In 1946 Vice President ElpidioQuirino claimed the Spratlys on behalf of the Philippine government. A year later, the Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs declared that the "New Southern Islands" previously occupied by Japan during World War II were part of Philippine territory.On May 17, President Quirino of the Philippines said that if the Chinese Kuomingtang (Nationalist Party) troops really occupied the Spratlys, then the Philippines did not need to occupy them. In 1978 President Ferdinand Marcos issued a Presidential Decree 1599 declaring ownership of most of the islands in the Spratlys.On July 17, 1978, was issued, proclaiming that the Kalayaan Group was within Philippine EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone).The area was renamed the Kalayaan (Freedom) Island Group. The proclamation laid the following basis for the Philippine claim: "By virtue of their proximity and as part of the continental margin of the Philippine archipelago"; that "they do not legally belong to any state or nation, but by reason of history; indispensable need, and effective occupation and control established in accordance with international law"; and while other states have laid claims to some of these areas, their claims have lapsed by abandonment and cannot prevail over that of the Philippines on legal, historical, and equitable ground.In 1995 President Fidel Ramos articulated the Philippine position regarding the Spratlys issue. He said "I would like to clarify that the Philippines does not only claim eight islands in the south China Sea but owns all islands and waters in the Spratlys as defined in the presidential decree issued by former President Marcos."
EvidencePrinciple of res nullius means that a territory should Either be unoccupied or there should be no effective occupation by another countryThe Philippines justifies its claim over the Spratlys from its discovery by Thomas Cloma in 1947.In 1956 Tomas Cloma together with his brothers and 40 crew explored the Spratlys and discovered and occupied 53 islands and reefs of the Spratlys. They proclaimed "formal ownership" over them and renamed these islands and reefs the Kalayaan (Freedomland) Island Group.Hesailed frequently to the Spratly Islands from 1947-1950 and proclaimed part of the archipelago as res nullius, which he names Kalayaan. According to Filipino law professor HaydeeYorac, the Cloma Proclamation was the first assertion of title to the Spratlys after Japan renounced its ownership of the islands in 1951 and 1952.He owned Kalayaan as a Filipino citizen and then later on transferred it to the government of the Philippines.The Sultanate State of Sulu is the legal owner of the Spratlys Archipelago but since the Sultan Kiram turnover his territorial and proprietary rights of the State to the Republic of the Philippines including the Palawan and the Spratlys in 1960's, then legally it belongs to the Philippines.
The Spratly Islands are located in the West Philippine Sea, 900 miles south of the Chinese island of Hainan and 120 miles west of the Philippine island of Palawan.
The Philippines’ territorial sovereignty will be preserved if the Spratly will be secured and the international community keeps its dignity intact.The crux of the Spratly Islands dispute centers on the potential wealth and strategic military value of the Islands.They connect the Indian and Pacific Oceans and thereby establish a major sea-route and strategic military position linking Asia, Africa, and Europe.Control of the Spratly Islands could serve as a means to impact oil transports both in Southeast Asia and the remainder of the industrialized world because ownership and control of the Spratly Islands provides sovereign rights over the adjacent waters and seabed.
The sovereign has power to regulate activities there, and, more importantly, can take action to protect, or destroy, the reef systems which support the living resources of this important ocean.
Argumentative Research Paper PPT. about the Spratly Islands Dispute between China and the Philippines
Spratly Islands Dispute Between China
and the Philippines
What is Spratly Islands
Why is the Spratly issue so
important and what is the
basis of the Philippine
claim to the islands?
How it started?
APEC - Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation
ARF - ASEAN Regional Forum
ASEAN - Association of Southeast Asian Nations
EEZ - Exclusive Economic Zone
UNCLOS – United Nation Convention Laws of the Seas
Spratly Islands, based upon proximity, usage, and
discovery are part of the Philippines sea territory which are
covered by United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Seas.
1. The Philippines has legal basis and underwent
the right processes and procedures in claiming
2. Philippines has the rightful sovereignty and
the historical rights as the ancestral and
territorial domain over the Spratly Islands
3. All the islands claimed by the Philippines
lie within its 200-nautical mile EEZ.
4. The agreement between China, Philippines
and Vietnam in the United Nation’s 1982
Convention elaborates that states have a right
to an exclusive economic zone and continental
shelf within 200 miles of their coast.