Independence Day anti-China protest rallies set in the US
The most meaningful way to celebrate Philippine Independence Day on June 12 is by boycotting “made in China” products until China abandons its illegal invasion, occupation and militarization of the Philippine territories in the West Philippine Sea.
This was the message of Loida Nicolas-Lewis, national chair of the US Pinoys for Good Governance (USPGG) which was calling for June 12 anti-China protest actions by Filipinos and their allies all over the United States and all over the world.
In the US, the Independence Day protest activities will target Apple and Walmart stores, which primarily sell products manufactured in China.
“While we cannot individually fight China militarily, we can do so economically by boycotting made in China products. Since the largest distributors of China products in the US are Walmart and Apple, that is why we are calling for a boycott of those stores,” Lewis said.
A sustained, organized boycott of China-made products may have been a factor in the unexpected decline in China exports to the US.
According to Reuters (“China exports just fell off a cliff,” April 13), China reported that its exports to the US and other countries “fell by a massive 14.6 percent in March from a year ago.”
This surprised many economists who had projected that China’s exports would increase by double digits in 2015.
In the Philippines, Martsa para sa Kalayaan (March for Freedom) was planned for June 12 at noon in front of the China Consulate in Makati located at the World Center at 330 Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue.
The protest rally was sponsored by Di Ka Pasisiil Movement led by former Rep. Roilo Golez.
Jose Rizal M. Reyes and Eufemio Agbayani III of Martsa para sa Kalayaan Network (MKN) announced the participation at the Makati rally of Bantay Bayan, ROTC Philippines, United Filipino Seafarers and Filipino Patriotic Solidarity Movement among other groups.
Those who could not physically attend the protest rallies were asked to join their selfie campaign. “Please take a cell phone photo of yourself holding a sign saying “China, go away! #Kalayaan is ours!,” “China, alis diyan! Amin ang #Kalayaan!,” or a translation of that in your local dialect. You may pose in front of the Philippine flag or map. Post the selfie in your timeline, use it as a profile picture, and tag MKN para sa Kalayaan Facebook page,” Reyes urged.
Vonz Santos, chair of Filipinos Unite (FU) movement of Philippine artists, which aims to use their music to call for Filipinos all over the world to unite against China’s bullying of the Philippines, joined other youth groups in a press conference on June 4 in Manila calling on Philippine presidential candidates to publicly state their positions with regard to Chinese incursions in Philippine waters.
“Our political leaders … owe the country a clear stand on Chinese aggression in Philippine waters. China’s intensified reclamation and militarization in the West Philippine Sea is an act of occupation and annexation. These are direct threats to our independence and sovereignty,” according to Akbayan Youth chair Rafaela “Paeng” David.
The groups made the calls after observing that many political aspirants remain quiet on the issue despite escalating tensions in the region.
“We deserve leaders who will defend our country’s sovereignty in the face of mounting pressures from a power like China and can articulate what direction our country must take to achieve that,” David said.
Boycott Asian infra bank
The groups also urged the Aquino government to suspend its plan of joining the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB), a new financial institution being proposed by China as an alternative to the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, until China backs down on its continued reclamation works in the West Philippine Sea and halts its harassment of Filipino fishermen in the area.
“We call on the government not to participate in China’s new regional financial venture as a direct form of protest against Chinese aggression in Philippine territory.
Indeed, we cannot fully embrace this new regional financial institution without any assurance from the Chinese government that it will not be used to leverage their position against us.
The only way to show their good faith is to withdraw its forces in areas under our country’s exclusive economic zone before we consider joining the AIIB,” David said.
Santos also criticized Vice President Jejomar Binay for “openly undermining our country’s strong position against China’s expansionism. As such, a Binay presidency will bring us back to the old days of the Arroyo presidency when our country bowed down to Chinese pressure and agreed to a lopsided deal with the Chinese government to exploit our oil and gas resources,” he said.
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