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Facts Show Taiping Dao Is Island, Not Rock: FM
   2016-06-03 13:00:53    Xinhua      Web Editor: Zhang Peng

The file photo shows Taiping Dao in the South China Sea on April 23, 2015. [Photo: Baidu.com]

History and facts show that Taiping Dao in the South China Sea is an island rather than a rock, said a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson on Friday.

"China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and its adjacent waters, including Taiping Dao. China has, based on the Nansha Islands as a whole, territorial sea, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf," said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying.

As reported by some foreign media, the Philippines and an arbitral tribunal are attempting to characterize Taiping Dao as a "rock" other than an "island." However, according to experts and journalists who recently visited Taiping Dao, it is an island boasting plenty of fresh water and lush vegetation. The installations and facilities for medical care, postal service, energy generation, and scientific research are all available and in good working condition. It is vibrant and lively everywhere on this island.

"Over the history, Chinese fishermen have resided on Taiping Dao for years, working and living there, carrying out fishing activities, digging wells for fresh water, cultivating land and farming, building huts and temples, and raising livestock," Hua said when asked to comment on the media report.

She added that the above activities are all manifestly recorded in Geng Lu Bu (Manual of Sea Routes), which was passed down from generation to generation among Chinese fishermen, as well as in many western navigation logs before the 1930s.

Geng Lu Bu, created collectively by Chinese fishermen more than 600 years ago, records not only the terrain features and oceanic condition of the islands in the South China Sea, but also names the islands, marks their locations and identifies reefs, shipping lanes and fisheries.

"The working and living practice of Chinese people on Taiping Dao fully proves that Taiping Dao is an 'island' which is completely capable of sustaining human habitation or economic life of its own," Hua said.

She said the Philippines' attempt to characterize Taiping Dao as a "rock" exposed that its purpose of initiating the arbitration is to deny China's sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and relevant maritime rights and interests.

The Philippines' move violates international law, and is totally unacceptable, according to the spokesperson.

Related: US Must Keep Promise Not to Take Sides in South China Sea Issue: Official

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