The Philippines will lose eighty percent (80%) of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the West Philippine Sea if China will enforce its nine-dash line claim over the entire South China Sea as their national boundary, Supreme Court Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio said on June 14 in an interview with CNN Philippines’ The Source.
“Woody Island is in the Paracels but China is saying that under the nine-dash line they own everything within the nine-dash line, all the islands, water resources, fish, oil and gas,” Carpio said.
The entire Paracel Islands is being claimed by China, Vietnam, and Taiwan.
“So if they (China) can now use Woody Island as their strategic air and naval base specially stationing their strategic bombers, which are nuclear-armed, then they are in a position to enforce the nine-dash line as their national boundary,” he explained.
He said this is the reason why China’s militarization is worrisome.
“We are not claiming Woody Island or the Paracels but they will use Woody Island to enforce the nine-dash line, and that means we will lose 80 percent of our exclusive economic zone,” he noted. “That’s why we have to protest.”
The Acting Chief Justice said it does not matter for him if he will not be appointed as the permanent Supreme Court chief because of his stand on West Philippine Sea.
“What is more important for the nation is that we preserve our sovereignty and sovereign rights, if we lose these we lost that forever,” he explained.