China launched a new website on Wednesday to defend its stance over the South China Sea after an international tribunal quashed its claims over the disputed area.
The website on the South China Sea is complete with historical maps to assert China’s claims.
The July 12 verdict by the tribunal appointed by The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration struck down China’s nine dash line over the South China Sea (SCS) based on historical rights and upheld the claims of the Philippines in sections of the SCS.
China claims all most all of the SCS.
Besides the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims over the SCS.
China which boycotted the tribunal and rejected its verdict, saying it was constituted illegally.
Run by China’s National Marine Data & Information Service, the Chinese language website site has 10 sections that cover basic information, news, historical archives, development and management, expert opinion, law and regulations, a timeline of major events, pictures and videos and Q&A.
“The South China Sea has drawn huge attention, but some information online is not accurate,” said Zhang Haiwen of an official of the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) which launched the website said.
“We hope that this website will enable domestic and overseas people to better understand it and learn about the truth behind the ‘dispute’ over it.”
According to Zhang, the website contains not only maps and archives but also exclusive analysis and expository articles based on experts’ research of thousands of maps, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Zhang cited that a map often used by Vietnam to prove that it owned the Xisha Islands was actually pieced together by two maps, which have already been obtained by experts and might be used to refute the country’s claim.
Zhang said new findings will be published on the website once verified.
The SOA said information on the website must first be reviewed by an expert panel and be “comprehensive, authoritative, detailed and accurate”.
“The website is founded with the aim of positively publicising our policies, claims, historical proof, legal basis and international cooperation while serving as a reliable channel for domestic and overseas government departments, research groups and individuals to learn about the South China Sea,” SOA spokesman Shi Qingfeng said.
The website has now six domain names. PTI KJV NSA