Filipino-Americans to hold anti-China protests in US
SAN FRANCISCO, California–Filipino-Americans are set to picket China’s consular offices in the United States to protest Beijing’s “impending invasion of the Philippines.”
The protesters, set to converge on July 8 in Washington DC, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, will condemn China’s scheduled oil rig drilling activities in the Kalayaan Islands in the West Philippine Sea.
The coordinated protest actions will be spearheaded by the US Pinoys for Good Governance (USP4GG), a national organization in the US led by Loida Nicolas Lewis and Rodel Rodis.
Protesters will include leading Filipino-American business, political and community leaders, they said.
The public demonstrations seek to expose China’s “abrogation of its pledge to the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to resolve sovereignty disputes peacefully through negotiations,” organizers said.
In March 2010, China unilaterally declared the West Philippine a core national interest similar to its claims to Tibet and Taiwan and therefore “non-negotiable”.
The group also expressed apprehensions over China’s growing military power.
China has 2.17 million armed forces, even larger than the combined military personnel of all the Asean countries.
USP4GG said thay with China’s superior military forces, the socialist state “appears determined to begin its billion dollar oil rig construction activity this July approximately 125 miles from Palawan within the Philippines’s 200 nautical miles Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).”
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas declares that a nation owns the oil, mineral and other resources within a 200 mile radius from its base.
Last May 27, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) conveyed its concern to China over its state media reports about planned installation of its most advanced oil rig in the West Philippine Sea this July.
According to the Xinhua report, China National Offshore Oil Corp. plans to invest 200 billion yuan ($30 billion) and drill 800 deepwater wells which they expect to have an output of an equivalent 5 million barrels of oil by the year 2020. The target production is equivalent to approximately $50 billion per year.
The Philippine military reported that an an undetermined number of structures were recently built by China in the vicinity of Philippine-claimed Iroquois Reef-Amy Douglas Bank near Palawan.
The site, a DFA statement said, is located southwest of Recto or Reed Bank and east of Patag or Flat Island within the Philippines 200 nautical miles Exclusive Economic Zone.
The Philippines has the only airstrip in the Spratly Islands, located on Pag-Asa Island, a municipality of Palawan province.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, while visiting Washington DC last week, revealed at least nine Chinese intrusions in Philippine territory in the last few months after a Philippine oceanographic research ship was chased out of Philippine waters by Chinese warships.
“We call on global Filipinos and Philippine organizations throughout the world to stand up to the China bully and protest its impending invasion of the Philippines by demonstrating in front of consular offices of China throughout the world,” Nicolas Lewis said.
“There are more than four million Filipinos in the US who can mobilize to defend the sovereignty of the Philippines by exposing China’s aggressive acts in the Spratlys. What is also at stake is the Philippines ownership of potentially trillions of dollars in revenue from its oil and natural gas resources,” said Rodis.
The organizers also invited Filipinos in the San Francisco Bay Area to attend a meeting at the Filipino Community Town Hall in the Philippine Consulate Social Hall (447 Sutter Street) at 6PM on Wednesday, July 6, to discuss this issue.
For more information on the USP4GG and its planned actions on July 8, please contact Rodel Rodis at [email protected] call (415) 334-7800.
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