MANILA, Philippines - Filipino netizens are asking innovation Google giant to expel from its maps service a Chinese reference to the disputed Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.
A Change.Org appeal said Google Maps has recognized the shore, situated off the shoreline of Zambales, as part of of China’s Zhongsha Islands – a gathering of submerged reefs and shoals in the range being claimed by a few nations, including the Philippines. Panatag Shoal is inside of the Philippines’ 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
“China’s sweeping claim of South China Sea under their nine-dash line purportedly historical boundary is illegal and is creating tension among nations,” read the petition (http://chn.ge/1LXhtSk), which had over 400 supporters as of yesterday.
“Google maps showing this is part of Zhongsha island chain gives credence to what is plainly a territory grab that peace loving nations should stand against,” it added.
A few Filipino netizens have approached the tech titan to uproot the Chinese reference, particularly since the map has selected to utilize the more impartial Scarborough Shoal rather than its Philippine name Bajo de Masinloc or Panatag Shoal or the Chinese name Huangyan Island.
“The use of that name promotes the violation of the UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Seas) if it perpetuates China’s unlawful claim,” said Quezon City resident Julian Chris Galvez.
“Google, you are not the UN, nor China, nor the Philippines. You have no right to arbitrarily assign land of sovereign nations to other nations,” added Paul Michael Co of Makati City.