In the middle of the showdown over Huangyan Island, China's been desperately scrabbling to find any legalistic scrap they can to hang a case on. One of the most notable has been the claim that the Phillippine Ambassador to Germany stated that the island wasn't part of the Phillipines in a 1990 letter, thus, of course, representing the official position of the Phillipines which they were now hypocritically betraying. This has been mentioned in every single article, speech, etc, on Huangyan Island for the last couple of weeks.
Now, it's true that the Phillippine Ambassador, Bienvenido Tan, or one of his staff, did write a letter about the islands stating they didn't count as part of the Phillipines. Unfortunately, he did so when writing to a ham radio DXCC enthusiast. DXCC is a long-running amateur radio award that you get by making contact with 100 separate political or geographical entities - not countries - and for which Huangyan was recognized separately from China or the Phillipines in 1994. For instance, Scotland and the Orkneys are separate from England, and Hawaii from the US. And, incidentally, Taiwan from China. Basing your legal ground to a territory on this is like using Risk borders to stake a claim.