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The president of polling firm Social Weather Stations (SWS) wants the South China Sea renamed as the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Sea due to its location and the Philippines’ 2016 arbitral win.

SWS president Mahar Mangahas said naming the South China Sea after the Southeast Asian region is “much more appropriate” considering that it is almost entirely surrounded by member countries.

“Ever since July 2016, when the Arbitral Tribunal on the Law of the Sea ruled that its ‘nine-dash line’ is spurious, it would have been clear to any serious observer on the planet that China is the country least deserving of consideration in the naming of this body of water, which I shall henceforth refer to as the Asean Sea,” he said in his September 26 column for the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

In addition to renaming the South China Sea, Mangahas also suggested that the Philippines designate a North Philippine Sea, an East Philippine Sea (EPS), and a South Philippine Sea to “completely cover” the country’s borders.

“The EPS is the most urgent, since this should cover the immense Benham Rise, which is undoubtedly also coveted by China. I hope every Asean country names its respective EEZs (exclusive economic zones) accordingly, if it hasn’t yet done so,” he said.

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