No categorical statement from China acknowledging PH allegations

FACT CHECK: No categorical statement from China recognizing PH claims

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The video only highlights former Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio’s comments that China inadvertently recognized Manila’s claims to the West Philippine Sea by citing the Washington Treaty.

Claim: China recognizes the Philippines’ territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea.

Rating: FALSE

Why we checked this: The YouTube video making the claim has 62,348 views and 393 comments at the time of writing. It was published on June 7, 2024 by a channel with 3,030 subscribers.

In its thumbnail, title, and description, the YouTube video claims that China “recognizes,” “admits,” and “acknowledges” the Philippines’ claim to the West Philippine Sea. The video states in the description that this is a “significant and crucial” development in the ongoing conflict between Manila and Beijing.

The video contains excerpts from a June 6 interview of former Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio with One News. In the interview, Carpio said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s recognition of the 1898 Treaty of Paris and the 1900 Treaty of Washington in his opening remarks at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore in May reinforces the narratives of the country over its claims to the West Philippine Sea. .

Facts: China has not made any categorical statement recognizing Philippine claims to the West Philippine Sea. The video presented only Carpio’s view that China may have inadvertently supported Manila’s claims when it cited the Washington Treaty during the arbitration proceedings initiated by the Philippines in 2013. The former Supreme Court judge has previously written about his legal views on the Philippines’ sovereignty claims. . (READ: The World’s Most Complicated Conflict)

Since the Hague ruled in favor of Manila in 2016, China has continued to assert its claims over the entire South China Sea, rejecting the ruling and ignoring diplomatic protests from Manila.

In a June 6 statement, China again called the arbitration award “illegal, null and void,” adding: “China does not accept or participate in this arbitration, nor does it accept or recognize the award.” , and will never entertain any claim or action arising out of this arbitration. the reward.”

“Judicial admission”: Although it did not participate in the arbitration proceedings, China submitted a position paper in 2014, asserting that the Philippine territory was bound by the Treaty of Paris and the Treaty of Washington.

Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States through the Treaty of Paris of 1898, which also defined Philippine territory. The Treaty of Washington of 1900 specifies that this territory includes “all the islands of the Philippine archipelago located outside the lines” of the Treaty of Paris.


In the interview with One News, Carpio said China’s mention of the Washington Treaty in its position paper is a “judicial admission.”

“They talked about the Washington Treaty. They are bound by the Washington Treaty… They have not read the text,” Carpio said.

He added, China is bound because it submitted this judicial admission to the arbitral tribunal in The Hague. China submitted an official document claiming that the Philippine territory is also governed by the Washington Treaty. This is the highest form of admission. Judicial admission is the highest form of admission under the law.

PH story: The former judge praised Marcos’ comments at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on May 31, where he cited the Washington Treaty and called China’s actions “illegal, coercive and aggressive.”

Tensions have further escalated in the South China Sea in recent months, with Beijing increasing the number of ships venturing into the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and stepping up its aggressive actions. China recently began implementing trespassing rules granting its Coast Guard the authority to detain suspected trespassers without trial for 60 days. (READ: (EXPLAINER) South China Sea: Why are tensions between China and the Philippines escalating?) –Luis Garcia/

Luis Garcia is a volunteer researcher at Rappler. He is an incoming fourth year Bachelor of Economics student at the University of the Philippines Diliman. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and an editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

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