Filipinos, Vietnamese protest China’s bullying in disputed waters
MANILA, Philippines—“Get out, China!” This was the emphatic statement of Filipino and Vietnamese protesters who stormed the Chinese Embassy in Makati City due to the continued intrusion of China to the West Philippine Sea.
Akbayan Partylist, US Pinoys for Good Governance and the Association of Filipino Vietnamese condemned the bullying actions of China, chanting, “China get out” and “Soberanya, ipaglaban.”
Led by Akbayan Representative Walden Bello, the group condemned provocative actions of the Chinese government which has escalated the maritime dispute in the Asian region.
Philippines and Vietnam Alliance
Filipino, Filipino-Vietnamese and Vietnamese protesters expressed their support and solidarity against China’s bullying in the disputed waters.
Janicee Buco, spokesperson of the Association of Vietnamese-Filipino, said they are one with the Filipino people in condemning their indignation against China’s intrusion of their territories.
“We want to let China know that we are condemning [its] continued intrusion,” Buco said.
Bello said the Philippines and Vietnam are natural allies as both countries suffer the same territorial struggles against China.
Bello said the Philippines is united with Vietnam in standing by that the Nine-Dash Line claim of China is illegal.
“It is time to transform both countries’ common experience of coercion from China into a common action to fully nullify threats to their territorial integrity and sovereignty,” Bello said.
Chinese reclamation over Mabini Reef
Bello also condemned the Chinese government’s reclamation activities on Mabini Reef (Johnson South Reef) that is part of the Kalayaan Island Group in the West Philippine Sea.
“This is totally unacceptable. Mabini Reef is part of the Kalayaan Island Group which is an integral part of the Philippines,” he said.
According to him, the latest act of China is “truly contemptible” and may backfire against China.
The lawmaker said the nine-dash line claimed by China has no “basis in law.”
Bello said that aside from being a regional bully, China has now turned into an environmental terrorist.
Philippine maritime police on March 8 seized a Chinese fishing vessel found carrying sea turtles off Hasa-Hasa Shoal (Half Moon Shoal) in disputed waters of the West Philippine Sea.
“Not satisfied in violating its neighbors’ sovereignty and territorial integrity, China is now engaged in illegal, activities which can result in long-term destruction of our environmental resources,” he said.
He said Filipinos will not yield to China’s baseless claims and its desire to ravage the Philippines’ aquatic resources and poach endangered marine species.
“We have our laws but unfortunately China does not observe our laws,” he said.
According to him, the Chinese poachers who violated our laws should be punished according to existing laws and not through diplomatic solutions.
“If we will not do this, they will do it again and again,” he said.
He said the Chinese poachers must feel the “full brunt” of Philippine laws adding that justice must come like “a ton of bricks.”
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