Philippines warns neighbors about China

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President Aquino: A warning to neighbors

MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino warned his country’s neighbors Monday they should fear Beijing’s growing aggressiveness over its claims in the South China Sea.

Aquino stressed China’s territorial claims spanned a huge area and were getting “closer and closer” to the Philippine archipelago.

“They claim this entire body of water practically. Look at what is excluded and what they are claiming,” Aquino told reporters as he pointed to a map of the area. “So how can the others not be fearful of what is transpiring?”

Aquino’s comments came shortly after his government said it would raise an increasingly tense dispute with China over the Scarborough Shoal at a high-level bilateral meeting with the US next week.

Manila and Beijing have been locked in a standoff over Scarborough, a group of islands in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), since Chinese vessels blocked Philippine attempts to arrest eight Chinese fishing boats’ crews earlier this month.

Aquino said Scarborough was within the Philippines’ internationally recognized exclusive economic zone and questioned China’s historical basis for its claims.

“It’s like (their claims) are getting closer and closer” to shore, he said.

The shoal is about 230 kilometers (140 miles) from the Philippines’ main island of Luzon, while the nearest Chinese land mass is Hainan province 1,200 kilometers to the northwest, according to Philippine naval maps.

With China ratcheting up the pressure, Manila said earlier Monday the Scarborough issue would be formally raised in talks between Foreign Secretary Alberto del Rosario and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and their US counterparts Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta in Washington next week.

The two nations are bound by a mutual defense pact in which the United States has pledged to come to the aid of its weaker ally if it faces military aggression.

Manila’s move could further anger China, which has insisted the United States should have no role in the dispute.

China claims almost the entire West Philippine Sea and is also locked in disputes with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) countries Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam, as well as its rival Taiwan.

The Philippines had earlier called on Asean countries to take a common stand against Beijing over the West Philippine Sea, a call that has caused differences within the bloc fearful of antagonizing the region’s most powerful nation.

The Global Times, a newspaper run by China’s ruling Communist Party, warned in an editorial at the weekend of a potential “small-scale war” to end the Scarborough Shoal standoff.

“Once the war erupts, China must take resolute action to deliver a clear message to the outside world it does not want a war, but definitely has no fear of it,” the editorial said.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • PHtaxpayer

    You know it doesn’t help our cause when you start making racist comments because it muddles the issues.  It is irrelevant if P-Noy or even the naturalized Filipino’s look or came from China.  

    There is only one human race and each country has many ethnic and tribal groups that comprise that human race. 

    What is at stake here is the future of the PH economy and our political stability.  if we cannot control our own territory, we will remain under foreign domination.  The discussion should be about geopolitics, national interests, foreign policy, defense strategy and international law, not racial slurs or comments.
     

  • markx2012

     BOYCOTT ALL CHINESE BUSINESS, SERVICES AND PRODUCTS IN THE COUNTRY!

    PATRONIZING THEIR BUSINESS, SERVICES AND THEIR TOXIC PRODUCTS IS HELPING CHINA!

  • zero8hour

    kung kasinglakas lang natin ang indonesia baka giyera na ang mangyari

  • romjov2009

    beware chinese communist empire is coming soon be vigilant…they (china) wants the world to be MADE IN CHINA

  • Bayabas San

    Filipinos need to learn how to swim.

  • Ano Ikaw

    Why cant the Philippines send the Chinese ambassador home? Send her home and suspend all diplomatic ties until this issue has reached a solution.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PBOZBBLRVEOTWHXEXOAXJR3Q3Y Dana

    Joma Sison is right! China is like Italy Claiming the rest of Europe  as their own as part of the RomanEmpire.

  • michael_light

    If you could not fight the Dragon (China) head on, starve it. Call for a worldwide boycott of Chinese product. Let us start with the ASEAN nations.

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