The Foreign Affairs Department on Thursday confirmed that China manufactured â€œeducational globesâ€ containing its nine-dash line claim in the West Philippine Sea, which has found its way into a major bookstore company in the country.
The nine-dash line, is a U-shaped map that covers nearly 90 percent of the South China Sea and overlaps with the sovereign territories of its Asian neighbors Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.
The globes were being sold by National Book Store but its sale was immediately stopped after the DFA informed the store management of the ongoing territorial conflict between the Philippines and China.
Department spokesperson Raul Hernandez said that NBC may have been unaware of the conflict and its implications in the countryâ€™s foreign policy.
â€œWe were able to validate that these globes which reflects Chinaâ€™s nine-dash-line claim encompassing the South China Sea are indeed being retailed by establishments that are totally unaware of the maritime disputes between the PH and China,â€ Hernandez said in a press conference.
Hernandez said they held a dialogue with the management of the bookstore on Thursday. By early Friday, the bookstore withdrew all China-made educational globes from their store branches.
Hernandez lauded NBC for taking â€œa patriotic positionâ€ to pro-actively support the government in advancing its foreign policy objectives.
â€œBasically, they (NBC management) are now aware of this issue, and they have given us some confidence that they will proactively support a collective action in this regard,â€ he added.
The department immediately addressed the issue after â€œnetizensâ€ or groups of Filipinos on social networking sites such as Facebook, called their attention on the sale of the globes.
When asked if the Philippines would protest the importation of Chinaâ€™s nine-dash maps, Hernandez said the department was considering the option, since Manila had already brought its dispute with China before the Arbitral Tribunal.
â€œWe can file if there are actions that we need for us to file a protest,â€ he said.
The â€œeducational globesâ€ issue was the latest irritant between the Philippines and China on the West Philippine Sea issue. The Chinese had earlier issued a new e-passport stamped with the same nine-dash-line map on its pages, and also declared new regulations allowing its naval forcesÂ patrol boats to â€œboard, search and seizeâ€ foreign vessels entering their supposed territories in the disputed sea.
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