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US atlas shows South China Sea islands part of Chinese territory

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-07-09 12:00
NEW YORK -- An atlas published in 1994 by a renowned US map publisher clearly illustrated that Huangyan Dao and other key islands involved in the South China Sea dispute are part of China's territory.

The 1994 revised edition of the Illustrated Atlas of The World, published by the Chicago-based Rand McNally, clearly shows that Huangyan Dao, Nansha Islands and Xisha Islands fall under China's jurisdiction, Chia-Chi Tsui, a retired Chinese-American professor, told Xinhua on Friday.

The Illustrated Atlas of The World is published by one of the most recognized names in American map publishing. The atlas shows clearly that Huangyan Dao is out of the Philippine borderline as the island, which the Philippines calls Scarborough Shoal, is located to the west of the 118 degrees east longitude -- the western limit of Philippine territory, said Tsui, owner of the atlas.

The 1898 Treaty of Paris, the 1900 Treaty of Washington and the 1930 Convention Between the United States and Great Britain all give the western limit of the Philippine territory at 118 degrees east longitude, which was also reaffirmed by the Philippine Constitution in 1935.

The map also shows the key islands in the South China Sea are marked in Chinese pinyin, while other places in Southeast Asia are marked with English words.

Furthermore, the word "China" is clearly written under the mark of Xisha Islands and Nansha Islands on the map, Tsui said.

Neither the borderline of the Philippines nor the mark of Huangyan Dao was shown in the first edition of the atlas published in 1992.

So far, Rand McNally, which was founded in 1856, has not responded to Xinhua's inquiry about the changes to the 1994 edition of the map.

In 2013, the Philippines unilaterally initiated an arbitration on the relevant disputes between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea, ignoring the common understanding the two countries had reached on solving the disputes through negotiations, and its commitments under the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.

China has declared that it would neither accept nor participate in the arbitration.

In recent years, tensions in the South China Sea have escalated with Washington continuously sending warships and aircraft to the area and actively enhancing military ties with claimant states such as the Philippines.
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