Philippines complains about China naming undersea features of Philippine Rise

Philippines govt objects to China's naming of undersea features in offshore region

"China's proposals to rename some undersea features in the Philippine Rise were submitted to SCUFN during its meetings in Brazil on Oct 12-16, 2015 & Sept 19-23, 2017", Roque said.

"We have the right to name our children because we have duties toward them, including protecting them".

The idea was first raised by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Wednesday. "A government policy to name as many as they can to seed 'yung Chinese culture and really plant their cultural flags all over", Batongbacal said. However, Filipino nationalists are suspicious of China's interest in the area.

Manila has already raised its concern with China over its naming of the undersea features in Benham Rise and may officially notify the worldwide hydrographic body that lists such records, presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said Wednesday.

The Philippines has already complained about China's move, amid concerns Beijing may be claiming more maritime territory.

Duterte this month followed up by banning all foreign scientific exploration at Benham Rise but only after the Chinese had finished their latest survey.

Tañada argued that if names are not so important, then resident Duterte would not have bothered to issue Executive Order No. 25 to rename Benham Rise to Philippine Rise.

The names were approved in 2016 and 2017.

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China's move was meant to normalize its "aggressive and all too often unlawful maritime behavior", he said, adding, "The adverse implications of which are the erosion and ultimately, the concession of the Philippines' sovereign rights over the region".

Researchers ride boats across the waters in the Benham Rise area.

This happened during the administrations of former President Benigno Aquino III and President Rodrigo Duterte.

The president followed up with a warning that he will order the navy to fire if other countries extract resources from within his country's exclusive economic zone, a 200-nautical mile stretch of sea where a coastal state has internationally recognized exclusive rights to exploit resources under a 1982 United Nations treaty.

Alejano is set to file a resolution in the House of Representatives condemning China's attempt of naming the undersea features in the Benham Rise.

The Philippines enjoys exclusive economic rights on the undersea ridge. Maps still refer to it as Benham Rise.

"This time it warrants at the very least a diplomatic protest dahil hindi pwedeng hahayaan na lang yan (because we can't just let it be)", Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said in a statement.

Critics have questioned why President Duterte's administration allowed a group from China to undertake scientific research in the waters given Manila's long-simmering territorial conflict with Beijing in the South China Sea.

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