Fil-Am leaders ask Federal Reserve to study China bank’s planned acquisition of BEA | Global News
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Fil-Am leaders ask Federal Reserve to study China bank’s planned acquisition of BEA

/ 08:10 PM August 06, 2011

WASHINGTON DC—New York-based Filipino American civic leader Loida Nicolas Lewis met with the Federal Reserve chief of the United States to express her group’s opposition to the planned purchase of the Bank of East Asia (BEA) by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), which plans to drill oil in the disputed Spratly Islands.

Lewis, joined by other representatives of the U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance (USP4GG), told Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke that the ICBC is funding the planned drilling of oil this month in the region in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

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Lewis said the area where China plans to drill for oil is located within the 200 mile radius of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Philippines under the 1982 United Nations Convention of the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS), which China ratified in 1996.

The group, which spearheaded simultaneous protests in front of the China consulates in the US on July 8, also met with officials of the Federal Reserve Board.

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The ICBC, the largest bank in the world, intends to buy the Bank of East Asia, which has 26 branches in the US.

In a letter earlier sent by the USP4GG to the FRB, signed by Lewis and USP4GG president Rodel Rodis, the group urged the FRB to take no action on the ICBC acquisition of the BEA until full public hearings are held at the Federal Reserve offices in New York, San Francisco and at its headquarters in Washington D.C.

“These public hearings will permit all Americans and all governments supporting a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the Spratly Islands to fully participate,” Lewis and Rodis wrote.

The USP4GG asked the FRB to compel the ICBC, primarily owned by the government of the People’s Republic of China, to divulge all funding, directly or indirectly, of any ships or other instruments engaged in activities that are in contravention of international law.

The USP4GG also called the FRB’s attention to the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval on June 27, 2011 of a resolution deploring the use of force by China against Vietnam and Philippine ships in the West Philippine Sea, also known as the South China Sea. This bipartisan resolution, authored by Sen. Jim Webb and Sen. James Inhofe, reaffirms U.S. support for a peaceful multilateral resolution of maritime disputes in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

The meeting of USP4GG officers with officials of the Federal Reserve Board was arranged by Faith Bautista, chair of the National Asian American Coalition.

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TAGS: acquisition, Bank of East Asia, Banking, BEA, China, Federal Reserve, ICBC, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, oil, Security, Spratly, Spratly Island
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