India, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines and Taiwan reject China's new 'controversial' map, release statements
China continues to receive brute criticism from countries that were antagonised after its Ministry of Natural Resources released the controversial map. On Friday (September 1), Vietnam also released a statement saying the map violates its sovereignty over the Spratly and Paracel Islands and jurisdiction over its waters.
Pham Thu Hang, the spokesperson for Vietnam's foreign affairs ministry, said China's sovereignty and maritime claims based on the nine-dash line were "invalid", adding that his country "resolutely opposes all China's claims in the South China Sea based on the dotted line".
It was India that first called out China for the release of the map. During a media interaction, India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishnkar pointed out it wasn't the first time China had come out with a similar move.
"It's an old habit of theirs. These (territories) are very much part of India. This government is very clear what our territories are. Making absurd claims doesn't make others territories yours," the minister was quoted as saying by NDTV.
Meanwhile, the Filipino Department of Foreign Affairs said the 2023 edition map is China's latest attempt "to legitimise purported sovereignty and jurisdiction over Philippine features and maritime zones" and "has no basis under international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)".
Asked about the map, Taiwanese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jeff Liu said Taiwan was “absolutely not a part of the People’s Republic of China.”
“No matter how the Chinese government twists its position on Taiwan’s sovereignty, it cannot change the objective fact of our country’s existence," he said in a press briefing.
The Malaysian Foreign Ministry in a statement said the new map holds no binding authority over the country, which “also views the South China Sea as a complex and sensitive matter.”
Despite criticism from all sides, Beijing maintained its arrogant attitude and asked the neighbouring countries to refrain from 'over-interpreting' the map.
“On August 28, the Ministry of Natural Resources of China released the 2023 edition of the standard map. It is a routine practice in China’s exercise of sovereignty in accordance with the law. We hope relevant sides can stay objective and calm, and refrain from over-interpreting the issue,” Wang Wenbin, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, was quoted as saying when asked about India’s protest.