Tolentino: PH ‘not a proxy war tool’ used by other nations against China
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Francis Tolentino has debunked views that the country is being used as a “proxy war tool” by other nations against China amid the rising tensions in the West Philippine Sea.
Tolentino stressed this after President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. also rejected “misleading narratives that frame the disputes in the South China Sea solely through the lens of strategic competition between two powerful countries,” which are China and the United States.
“Hindi po proxy war kasi hindi lang naman United States ang kaalyado natin dito eh. Kaalyado rin natin ang Japan, kaalyado natin ang Australia, kaalyado natin ang United Kingdom, kaalyado natin ang Europe… nabanggit ko rin in the recent weeks, lumantad ng (kaalyado) ang India,” said Tolentino in a statement, citing an interview he had with dzBB.
(It’s not a proxy war because our ally is not just the United States, Japan is also our ally, Australia is our ally, the United Kingdom is our ally, and Europe is also our ally. I also mentioned in recent weeks, India has emerged as an ally.)
In August, the People’s Republic of China released the 2023 edition of its standard map, featuring a “ten-dash line” covering parts of Taiwan, particularly its eastern section and most of the West Philippine Sea.
Tolentino pointed out that this drew criticism from other countries and may soon prompt other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei to also become vocal against the aggression shown by China.
“Hindi ito proxy war. Kasi kung proxy war ito, proxy war din tayo ng Japan. Proxy war din tayo ng UK. Proxy war din tayo ng Australia. Proxy war din tayo ng New Zealand,” he clarified.
(This is not a proxy war. Because if that’s the case, we will also be in a proxy war with Japan, the UK, Australia, and Zealand.)
The senator likewise emphasized that China’s recent aggressions highlighted the “need to abide by a treaty called ‘United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea’ or UNCLOS” — to which China is a signatory.