Manila Seeks to ‘Lay Claim’ over Huangyan with New Name | CHINA US Focus

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Manila Seeks to ‘Lay Claim’ over Huangyan with New Name

By Zou Le
May 7, 2012
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Chinese experts said the Philippines' recent move to rename a Chinese island involved in a month-long territorial spat is apparently aimed at asserting its claim over the area.

Philippines presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda announced in a press conference Thursday that they prefer to call this area Panatag Shoal, which is known as Huangyan Island in China, the Manila Bulletin reported.

Lacierda explained that the change is "for brevity" reasons. Other names of the shoal previously used by the Philippine government are Scarborough Shoal and Bajo de Masinloc.

"Scarborough Shoal is a name that was originally used by the US, so the Philippines felt it was necessary to change the name to a local expression to assert its territorial claim over the area," Zhuang Guotu, director of southeast Asian studies at Xiamen University, told the Global Times.

China and the Philippines have been caught up in a standoff over the ownership of Huangyan Island since last month after Philippine authorities tried to arrest Chinese fishermen in the area.

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