West Philippine Sea Limited To Exclusive Economic Zone

MANILA, Philippines - The renamed West Philippine Sea is limited to the area covered by the country's exclusive economic zone.

This was stressed on Friday by Malacañang as it said China should not to take offense on the Philippines' move to rename part of the South China Sea as the West Philippine Sea.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, in a press briefing, said the Chinese Foreign Ministry must have been "misinformed."

"Maybe their impression was we're naming the entire South China Sea as the West Philippine Sea. They may be misinformed so we're just clarifying," Lacierda said.

"We've made it very, very clear: we are not naming the entire South China Sea as the West Philippine Sea," he said.

"What we are naming is only the exclusive economic zone and I think China should not take offense of that," Lacierda added.

Reports bared that that the Chinese Foreign Ministry had said that renaming the South China Sea as the West Philippine Sea "would only humiliate the Philippine government and turn it into a laughing stock in the international community," adding that "the Philippine government has blatantly violated the basic principles and spirit of the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC)."

President Aquino signed Administrative Order (AO) no. 29 on Sept. 5, 2012, renaming the EEZ as the West Philippine Sea, particularly the maritime areas within the western side of the Philippine archipelago, including the Luzon Sea as well as the waters around, within, and adjacent to the Kalayaan island group and the Panatag Shoal.

The AO also tasked the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) to produce and publish Philippine charts and maps reflecting the West Philippine Sea while the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and other concerned government agencies will be submitting a copy enclosing the map that now includes the West Philippine Sea to the United Nations (UN) Secretary General and notify international organizations.