Group accuses China of using similar tactics as Russia in WPS
MANILA, Philippines — A nationalist group accused China of emulating Russian techniques in its illegal incursions into the Philippines’ maritime boundaries, as well as in its construction of islands in the West Philippine Sea to “legitimize” claims to the territory.
According to Atin Ang Pinas co-convenor Amber Quiban, “China is using different but similar tactics to encroach on the Philippines and flaunt its threats against Taiwan.”
“While Russia plants its nationals in Ukrainian soil to instigate and hasten the unrest and calls for secession, China has been building islands in the West Philippine Sea to ‘legitimize’ its claims over the territory that was already awarded to us by the decision of The Hague,” said Quiban.
“These superpowers implant parts of their own in contested areas and territories to agitate the secessionists and create false legitimacy,” she added.
This came after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) recently summoned Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian over the presence of a People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLAN) ship in Sulu waters from January 29 to February 1.
The Chinese ship was challenged by the Philippine Navy but the ship continued to stay in Philippine waters despite being told to leave, as it violated Philippine sovereignty.
International research organization Stratbase ADR Institute for Strategic and International Studies (ADRi), meanwhile, commended the DFA for its move to summon the ambassador.
“Calling the Chinese ambassador is a strong move that the country should be taking to continue to assert its maritime rights and defend our territorial integrity,’’ said Stratbase ADRi president Dindo Manhit.
The Philippines has been in a long-running maritime dispute against China after the latter country claimed that it owns the entirety of South China Sea which includes portions of the West Philippine Sea.
The Philippines challenged its claim through the International Permanent Court of Arbitration (IPCA) in The Hague in 2013, and won in 2016.
China, however, has consistently refused to recognize the ruling, disregarding the ruling by constantly trespassing the Philippines’ territorial waters.