Edited and translated by People's Daily Online
The standoff between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea is catching the world's attention. The South China Sea issue has a direct bearing on a series of key issues such as China's relations with its neighbors, its peaceful development, and its relations with the United States.
What is China's bottom line in the dispute over the Huangyan Island? It depends first on the nature of the dispute.
Scholars have noted that China’s sovereignty over the island enjoy solid historical and legal bases. China was the first country to discover, occupy, and exercise jurisdiction over the island, and its sovereignty over the island is recognized by the Yalta system, which was established after the Second World War.
By contrast, the Philippines’ territorial claim on the Huangyan Island is obviously untenable.
The country’s claim over certain islands in the South China Sea is only based on the part of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea defining the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf.