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South China becomes West Philippine Sea

Aquino orders name change for disputed waters reporter, Manila

September 12, 2012

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The presidential palace today released a copy of an administrative order renaming the South China Sea as the West Philippine Sea. The order signed by President Benigno Aquino on September 5 states that the naming of the West Philippine Sea "is without prejudice to the determination of the maritime domain over territories" over which the Philippines has sovereignty and jurisdiction. Based on the order, the West Philippine Sea covers the Luzon Sea "as well as waters around, within and adjacent to the Kalayaan Island Group and Bajo De Masinloc, also known as the Scarborough Shoal." The shoal is a disputed territory claimed by the People's Republic of China, the Philippines and Taiwan. Aquino ordered all government departments and agencies "to use and employ" the name West Philippine Sea in all communications, messages and public documents. Aquino signed the order days before he was to meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Vladivostok last week. The meeting between the two leaders did not take place due to "scheduling problems," Philippine officials claimed. Related reports Spratly islands standoff continues Protestors descend on China mission

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