Firstly, China is the first country to discover and name the Huangyan Island and incorporate it into the territory of China to exercise the jurisdiction over it.
China discovered Huangyan Island in the Yuan dynasty.
The Water Mapping Review Committee, which was composed of China's Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of the Navy and Ministry of Education, announced 132 islands, reefs and beaches of the China South Sea in January 1935. Among them, as a part of Zhongsha Islands, the Huangyan Island, which was called "Scarborough Shoal" at the time, was included in the territory of China. In October 1947, Chinese government announced a new list of the South China Sea islands and the Scarborough Shoal was renamed as "Minzhu Reef" in it. In 1983, the Chinese Toponymy Committee was authorized to release a list of some South China Sea islands and began to use Huangyan Island as the island's standard name. The island's another name is "Minzhu Reef." All the official maps published by Chinese government mark the Huangyan Island as Chinese territory, and China has noted that the Huangyan Island is Chinese territory in its announcements and declarations concerning the sovereignty of the South China Sea islands.
Secondly, China has been developing and utilizing the Huangyan Island for a long time.
The Huangyan Island is the traditional fishing place for Chinese fishermen. Chinese fishing boats had often engaged in fishery production activities since ancient times.
The Chinese Government had sent the scientific expedition to investigate the Huangyan Island for more than once. For example, the researchers of the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences had boarded the Huangyan Island in October 1977. In June 1978, these researchers again boarded it for investigation. In April 1985, the South China Sea Branch of the State Oceanic Administration organized a comprehensive expedition to investigate the Huangyan Island. In 1994, the South China Sea scientific expedition arrived in Huangyan Island to investigate it and built a one-meter-high concrete monument on the island. In 1994, 1995 and 1997, China had successively authorized radio amateurs boarding the island.
Thirdly, the Philippines has no rights to claim the territorial sovereignty of Huangyan Island.
First, Huangyan Island is outside the territory of Philippines.
The Philippine territory was determined by a series of international treaties and no treaty had stated that the Huangyan Island belongs to the Philippines. The "Treaty of Paris between Spain and the United States" in 1898, the "Treaty of Washington between Spain and the United States" in 1900 and the "Anglo-American Treaty" in 1930 (called the "three Treaties" for short) had clearly defined that 118 degrees East longitude is the western limit of Philippine territory. The Huangyan Island is outside it. The Philippine Constitution in 1935, the US-Philippine General Relations Treaty in 1947, the Philippine-US Military Alliance Treaty in 1952, the Act 3046 set by Philippines about its territorial sea baseline on June 17, 1961 and the amendment of the territorial sea baseline by Philippines in 1968 successively reaffirmed the legal validity of the "three Treaties" and explicitly recognized that the territory of Philippines does not include the Huangyan Island. The maps published by the Philippines in 1981 and 1984 also did not incorporate Huangyan Island. The above facts have fully proved that the Huangyan Island is outside the scope of Philippine territory and does not belong to the Philippines.
Second, the Philippines had never raised objection about China's sovereign jurisdiction and develop of the Huangyan Island before 1997 and even repeatedly said that Huangyan Island is outside the territory of Philippines. On February 5, 1990, the Philippine ambassador to Germany made it clear that according to the Philippines Mapping and Resource Information Authority, the Huangyan Island is not within the Philippine territory in a letter to Dieter, a German radio amateur. In documents sent to the American Amateur Radio Association on Oct. 18, 1994 and Nov. 18, 1994, the Philippines Mapping and Resource Information Authority and Philippine Amateur Radio Association had confirmed that the borders and sovereignty of Philippines is defined in the third clause of the Treaty of Paris on Dec. 10, 1898 and the Huangyan Island is located outside the borders of Philippine territory.
Third, the Philippines claims that, since the Huangyan Island is within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone, the Philippines has the territorial jurisdiction of the island and therefore should have the territorial sovereignty of the island. Actually, this claim is not supported by any international laws, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Land dominates the sea is a fundamental principle of the International Law of the Sea. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea allows coastal countries to establish their exclusive economic zones of 200 nautical miles wide, but coastal countries do not have the right to infringe other countries' inherent territorial sovereignty by taking this term as the basis. The idea and action of trying to use the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to change the sovereignty of a territory of a country violate tenets and principles of international laws, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and will not succeed. The Philippines' ocean jurisdiction should not infringe China's territorial sovereignty over the Huangyan Island, let alone allowing the Philippines to invade and occupy China's territory of the Huangyan Island.
Fourth, the Philippines' claim over the Huangyan Island because the island was a target range of the U.S.-Philippines military drill is even more baseless. It was completely illegal that the Philippines and United States took the Huangyan Island as a target range of their military drill without China's permission. An illegal action does not generate rights. That is a fundamental principle of international laws. In addition, the United States has many overseas military bases and has carried out military drills and trainings in many places of the world, but the United States cannot put forward territory claims for this reason, and it never did so.
Fifth, the Philippines' claim over the Huangyan Island because it is close to it is also not supported by international laws. International laws and practices have already proved that the geographic position is not a principle for deciding the territorial ownership of a place. There are countless cases that a territory of a country is far from the country but close to another country. If doing things according to the Philippines' “geographic position theory,” the political map of the world would be re-drawn and the whole world will turn into a total mess.
In a word, the Philippines' any claim over the Huangyan Island is illegal and invalid. The Huangyan Island is an inherent territory of China and China has the indisputable territorial sovereignty over the Huangyan Island. The Philippines should return to its original standpoint of admitting and respecting China's territorial sovereignty over the Huangyan Island.