PH protests Chinese names in Benham

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"We object and do not recognize the Chinese names given to some undersea features in the Philippine Rise", Roque said in a statement, using another name for Benham Rise.

The Philippine embassy in Beijing raised concerns with the Chinese government and was considering notifying worldwide hydrographic and oceanographic agencies that deal with the mapping and naming of underwater features to complain about this, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.

The government will give Philippine names to undersea features in Benham Rise which now bear Chinese names, officials said.

The Philippines said Wednesday it has complained about China's move to name undersea features on Manila's continental shelf, an incident which raised fears the Asian giant may be claiming more maritime territory.

Earlier this year Duterte allowed China to conduct a new survey of Benham Rise, spurring criticism that he was allowing them to map out possible routes for submarines.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said he was not aware of the specific details but said the naming of such features was permitted.

"The Philippines, as many of you know, is not a member of the SCUFN, which is composed of 12 members".

"Giving it a label carrying the name of the country emphasizes Philippine sovereign right and jurisdiction over the area".

All of these, he said, are within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Philippine Rise.

However, the halt in foreign research activities does not mean a ban, Roque said.

In a text message to reporters on Wednesday, Lorenzana said he would discuss the recent actions of Beijing with National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. and other Cabinet members.

Lorenzana noted that the Spratly Islands features have Chinese, Vietnamese and Philippine names.

"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", he said.

In 2017, the IHO reportedly approved Chinese names for the five seamounts in the Philippine Rise.

"This time it warrants at the very least a diplomatic protest dahil hindi pwedeng hahayaan na lang yan (because we can't just let it be)", Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said in a statement.

"It is our sworn duty to fight and protect for our sovereignty and protect our territorial integrity".

"The successful naming of features within the Philippines' legal maritime territory further normalizes China's aggressive and all too often unlawful maritime behavior".

"They (China) should not abuse it to the point that they are raping our country", he said.

"But he is a complete coward and puppet vis a vis China by selling out cheap the sovereign rights of the Philippines and the Filipino people over the rich mineral and marine resources of the West Philippine Sea, Panatag Shoal and Benham Rise", he added.

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