“The following Benham Rise features were named by China: Jinghao and Tianbao Seamounts, Haidonquing Seamount, Cuiqiao Hill and Jujiu Seamounts,” Senator Panfilo Lacson said in his Twitter account.
“It’s probably a matter of time before we see Chinese structures on more artificial islands. Damn us! Are we this helpless?” he added.
This statement from the senator was mad after maritime law expert Jay Batongbacal said that China has successfully named five undersea features within the Philippine Rise.
Batongbacal noted that these features named by China are within the 200 nautical miles of the east coast of Luzon which are within the “legal” continental shelf of the Philippines meaning no claim process is needed.
“Last year, the International Hydrographic Organization approved the names proposed by China. Three of the features were reported to have been “discovered” during a 2004 survey by the Li Shiguang Hao of the China Navy Hydrographic Office, which submitted the names for consideration by the IHO in 2014,” Batongbacal explained.
“Two features were also reported “discovered” by the same ship during the same survey, but the name proposals were submitted by the China Ocean Minerals R&D Association in 2016,” he added.
Sources: https://twitter.com/iampinglacson/status/963391042929098752; https://www.mintfo.com/security-defense/china-successfully-names-5-philippine-rise-features/1146/