MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine president's spokesman says his government rejects and does not recognize Chinese names given to undersea features in a vast offshore region where the Philippines has undisputed sovereign rights.
Spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said Wednesday that the Philippines has already raised its concern to China over its naming of the undersea features in Benham Rise and is considering officially notifying an international hydrographic body, which lists such maritime records.
Roque says China proposed the names in Benham Rise in 2015 and 2017.
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered an end to all foreign scientific research missions in Benham Rise last week. He followed up with a warning that he will order the navy to fire if other countries extract resources from within his country's exclusive economic zone.