300 Filipinos in Rome protest China ‘intrusion’
ROME–Some 300 Filipinos in Rome, Italy took a time out from their work Thursday to hold a protest rally against China’s “intrusion” in the West Philippine Seas (South China Sea).
Organized by various Filipino communities in Rome, the peaceful rally was held at the historic plaza of Piazza Del Popolo, which is one of Rome’s main tourist spots.
China claims nearly all of the West Philippine Sea, even waters approaching the coasts of neighbouring countries.
Asean members the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia also have competing claims to parts of the sea, as does Taiwan.
The rivalries have for decades been a source of regional tension, with China and Vietnam fighting battles in 1974 and 1988 for control of some islands in which dozens of Vietnamese soldiers died.
Tensions have again grown in recent years with the Philippines, Vietnam and some other countries expressing concern at increasingly assertive Chinese military and diplomatic tactics to stress control over the sea. With Agence France-Presse