In an article published late last month by the Manila Standard Today, a retired Filipino banker and economist said that Huangyan Island, a disputed territory located in the South China Sea, has historically belonged to China and that the Philippine government is "fooling" people.
According to Victor N. Arches II, "The Scarborough Shoal does belong to China, which discovered and mapped it as early as 1279 during the Yuan Dynasty. Chinese fishermen, from both the Mainland and Taiwan, have since used it. As a matter of fact, Guo Shoujing (the Chinese astronomer, engineer and mathematician who worked under Mongol ruler Kublai Khan) performed surveys of the South China Sea, and the surveying point was the Scarborough Shoal, which is considered part of the Zhongsha Islands (renamed Huangyan Island in 1983)."
"By contrast, the 'old maps' being relied upon by our Department of Foreign Affairs in its spurious claim on the same territory were drawn up only in 1820, or 541 years after China's. I am surprised that Senator Edgardo Angara—supposedly a renowned lawyer—can claim that a map drawn five centuries and four decades after takes precedence over the much earlier map of China's."
"All official maps published by the Philippines until the 1990s excluded both the Spratlys and the Scarborough Shoal from its territorial boundaries. Our own Republic Act No. 3046, passed by our Congress and approved in 1961, stopped us from our claim. Yet, we had the temerity to amend this law on March 10, 2009, after 48 long years, to unilaterally include the disputed territories."
Mr. Arches is from the city of San Juan in Metro Manila. He is a retired investment and merchant banker, a retired Certified Public Accountant and a retired economist who dabbles in history and political science, among other interests, said the Manila Standard Today.