The Philippine Government has decided to rename “South China Sea”, to “West Philippine Sea”, the Strait Times of Singapore reported. This in response to the Philippine claim over parts of the Spratly Islands. The Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Eduardo Malaya told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that “the area has long been called Dagat Luzon, or Luzon Sea” by Filipino fisherfolk. There is a move in the Philippine Congress to officially change the name of the region to “West Philippine Sea”. Akbayan party-list representative Walden Bello was quoted by the Inquirer to say that this will strengthen the country’s claim over the resources in the area.
Manila also renamed Reed Bank, center of the recent controversy to Recto Bank, Gulf News reported. Recto Bank is named after Philippine nationalist Senator Claro M. Recto, according to Malacanang Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.
Tensions are riding high between many of the claimants of the Spratly Islands, especially with recent reports of Chinese incursions into the region. Vietnam, Taiwan, The People’s Republic of China, Malaysia, Brunei joins the Philippines in making a claim. The United States has urged diplomacy in settling the issue of the Spratly Islands.
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