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Overseas Filipinos urged to rally vs China on May 11

/ 03:06 AM April 27, 2012

Map showing the disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea (south China Sea), including the Spratlys Islands and Scarborough Shoal. AFP

NEW YORK—Loida Nicolas Lewis, national chair of a Filipino-American good governance organization, has called on Filipinos to rally in front of China’s global embassies and consulates on May 11 to protest China’s aggressive encroachments on the Philippines’ Scarborough Shoal.

Among the first to respond to the call are Filipino organizations in Hong Kong, Canada and Australia.

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China considers Scarborough Shoal, located 124 nautical miles from the Philippines’ Zambales province, to be its “inherent territory” even though it lies more than 500 nautical miles from the nearest China port of Hainan.

The territorial dispute over the Scarborough Shoal, “Huangyan Island” to China and “Panatag Shoal” to the Philippines, has escalated in recent months following these developments:

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Chinese navy ships recently confronted the Philippine navy vessel, BRP Gregorio del Pilar, which sought to apprehend Chinese boats illegally fishing in the area. The Chinese fishing boats were found to contain corals, rare fish and live baby sharks, which are considered illegal cargo under Philippine law.

Chinese navy ships have fired on and harassed unarmed Philippine fishing boats and exploration vessels, forcing them to withdraw.

Chinese navy ships have dropped steel posts and navigation buoys with Chinese markings in the waters around Scarborough Shoal.

China’s Global Times, published by the government’s People’s Daily, reported in its April 25 editorial that China is prepared to engage in a small-scale war at sea with the Philippines: “China should select the most arrogant provocateur, conduct comprehensive strikes, and exert pressure economically, politically and militarily. If the water overwhelms China’s knees, other countries will find their necks in the water.”

To defuse the potential for war, the Philippines’ Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario proposed that the two countries bring their territorial dispute to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (Itlos) but this proposal was immediately rejected by China.

12M Filipinos in 220 countries

Rodel Rodis, national president of the US Pinoys for Good Governance (USP4GG), called on the Global Filipino Diaspora Council (GFDC) representing 12 million Filipinos in 220 countries to support the Philippines’ sovereign claim to the Scarborough Shoal which has been in Philippine maps since 1743.

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TAGS: Bajo de Masinloc, China, Diplomacy, Foreign affairs, International relations, Military, Overseas Filipinos, Panatag Shoal, Philippines, Scarborough Shoal, Scarborough Standoff
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