US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg late on June 26 voiced his support for the Southeast Asian country’s protest against China’s publication of a new map that covers nearly all waters and islands in the East Sea in the so-called sovereignty of Beijing.

According to Goldberg, on the “10-dash map”, the basic principle remains the same on the so-called “nine-dash line” claimed by China earlier. However, it has no basis in international law, he stated.

China’s move has violated the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, he said, noting that attempts by a country to infringe on another’s lawful use of the sea should be raised as a concern.

“We may have historical arguments for many things but we believe that the ways forward of settling this issue are through tribunals, code of conduct, observance of declarations of conduct, negotiations directly with parties, not through intimidation but legitimate kinds of discussions like Philippines and Indonesia’s agreement on economic zones. It can be done,” he said.

On June 26, the Philippines’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticised China’s publication of the new map, affirming that it seriously violates international law.

This act of China is completely unacceptable as it runs counter to international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to which China is a party, the ministry said in its statement.

The ministry’s spokesman Charles Jose described China's “ambitious expansionism” as the reason for the current tensions in the East Sea. The official asserted that territorial and maritime disputes must be resolved at an international arbitral court.

The new map, published by the Hunan publishing house on June 23, includes almost all waters and islands in the East Sea in the so-called “sovereignty” claimed by China, seriously violating the sovereignty, sovereign right and jurisdiction of coastal states in the East Sea.

Last year, the Philippines submitted a 4,000-page document to an international arbitral tribunal opposing China’s sovereignty claim over nearly the entire East Sea. The tribunal urged China to present its official counter-arguments before December 15.-VNA