Activists demand ‘CHexit’ a day before tribunal decision
Activists on Monday urged China to back off from the country’s territorial waters a day before the International Tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration is set to release its decision on the case filed by the Philippines against the global superpower.
Members of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Metro Manila (Bayan Metro Manila) staged a protest in front of the Chinese Embassy in Makati City, with their campaign centered on asking China to do a “CHexit,” a nod to the term popularized by the decision of the United Kingdom to bolt the European Union.
Bayan Metro Manila chairperson and former lawmaker Raymond Palatino said that they expect a legal victory for the country and that it can be used to pressure China to stop its activities in the disputed West Philippine Sea.
“Tuloy-tuloy lang po ang protesta hanggang hindi umaalis ang Tsina sa territorial waters ng Pilipinas, hanggang sa hindi kinikilala ng Tsina yung karapatan ng Pilipinas sa ating territorial waters at hanggang hindi tinatanggal ng Tsina ang kanyang mga illegal facilities at saka encroachment activities sa West Philippine Sea,” Palatino said.
(We will continue staging protests as long as China doesn’t back off from the territorial waters of the Philippines, as long as China doens’t recognize the Philippine rights over our territorial waters and as long as China doesn’t remove its illegal facilities and encroachment activities in the West Philippine Sea.)
He also said that should the Philippines score a win in the international tribunal, it can be used to inspire other Southeast Asian countries to fight Chinese encroachment in the West Philippine Sea.
“Ito lamang ay hindi legal victory kung hindi political at moral victory na dapat gamiting inspirasyon para sa iba pang Southeast Asian countries magsama-sama at mas maging malakas ang boses para itulak ang Tsina at huwag na magplunder ng resources sa West Philippine Sea,” he added.
(This is not only legal victory but also political and moral victories which should be used as an inspiration for other Southeast Asian countries to unite and have a stronger voice against China and stop plundering resources in the West Philippine Sea.)
Palatino said that a bigger protest is being readied on Tuesday.
China has long said that it will not recognize the decision of the arbitration court. It asserts sovereignty over almost all of the strategically vital waters in the South China Sea.
READ: China on war footing
Aside from the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan have overlapping claims in the South China Sea. AJH/RAM/rga
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