|Posted by Manila Mail under Editorial|
Filipinos in the United States and around the world have joined their countrymen in the Philippines to denounce China’s bullying activities in the South China Sea (renamed West Philippine Sea by Manila) and its arrogance in claiming the Spratlys as an “indisputable” Chinese territory. They are also protesting Beijing’s attempt to start drilling for oil and gas in the area and continued intrusions on islands within Philippine territory.
Simultaneous demonstrations were staged in New York, Houston, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
“China is bullying the Philippines, and as global Filipinos, we should do our share and stand up for our motherland,” said Loida Nicolas Lewis, chair of US Pinoy for Good Government which is leading the massive protests.
And in the Philippines, the Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines issued an official statement which said: “The Filipino people condemn the arrogance of China’s sole claim over the disputed island, its refusal to recognize the claims of other nations and its refusal to engage in multilateral Negotiations.” But it also urged the US to stay out of the dispute.
The resource-rich Spratlys chain of islands in the West Philippine Sea, which straddles crucial shipping lines is being contested by the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.
The United States says it’s not siding with any of the claimants, but it urges them to solve the controversy peacefully through multilateral negotiations.
This, however, does not mean that the US will sit idly by if it thinks China’s arrogant claim will pose a treat to free navigation in the South China Sea.
This is the reason why the US navy has been holding a series of joint naval exercises with the Philippines and Vietnam.