Tag Archives: Scarborough Shoal

WITH ONE MOUSE CLICK, GOOGLE ERASES SOUTH CHINA SEA ISLAND FROM WORLD MAP

CaptureMANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles®) – Before today, a search on Google Maps would point you to an island in the South China Sea called Zhongsha.

Its international name is Scarborough Shoal and is one of disputed territories in the Spratly Islands, a group of more than 750 reefs, islets, atols, cays and islands in the South China Sea.  The Spratly archipelago lies off the coasts of the Philippines, Malaysia and southern Vietnam. All three countries plus China claim part of the archipelago as part of their respective territories.

With the click of the mouse, Google erased the island from the map after an outcry from Filipinos who maintained that naming the island Zhongsha would suggest that it belongs to China, when in fact, it belongs to the Philippines, or so it is claimed.

“We’ve updated Google Maps to fix the issue. We understand that geographic names can raise deep emotions which is why we worked quickly once this was brought to our attention,” Google’s office in Manila said in a statement.

China, meanwhile, has accused Google of taking sides on a territorial dispute that should be settled by the governments involved, not  by a private company.  Furthermore, China says that Google’s action is in retaliation for the Chinese government’s crackdown on gmail and the Google search engine in the Chinese mainland.

So, if there is a name of an island or body of water anywhere in the world that you are not happy about, don’t despair.  All you need is to start a petition for Google to erase it from the map. Or at least change its name.

TERRITORIAL DISPUTE: CHINA FIRES WATER CANNONS AT PHILIPPINE FISHERMEN; THE FILIPINOS FIRE BACK

imageManila, Philippines – The Chief of Staff of the Philippines’ Armed Forces has accused the Chinese Coast Guard of firing water cannons at Filipino fishermen to drive them away from the disputed Scarborough Shoal. General Emmanuel Bautista told reporters that the incident happened last January 27.

The Philippines and China both claim sovereignty over the territory located in the South China Sea, believed to be oil-rich.

The United States, a long-time ally of the Philippines, has declared that it will not get involved in the territorial dispute. However, the Philippines and the U.S. have an existing treaty under which the U.S.  is obliged to help its ally if it is attacked.   The U.S. State Department is still assessing whether the firing of water cannons would be considered an “attack.”

Asked by The Adobo Chronicles how the Filipino fishermen responded to the water cannon firing,  Gen. Bautista said: “Of course, an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth! The fishermen fired back with their water pistols.”