Xi state visit: Bayan calls on Philippine government to assert Hague ruling on West Philippine Sea
November 19, 2018
The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan will join different patriotic groups and sectors in protests in time for the visit of China President Xi Jinping from November 20-21. There will be a multisectoral program in front of the Chinese consulate in Makati in the morning of November 20, ahead of the arrival of Xi.
Bayan is calling on the Philippine government under Rodrigo Duterte to assert and uphold the favourable ruling of the international tribunal in The Hague which recognized the Philippines exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea, while invalidating China’s “9 dash line” claims over almost the entire South China Sea. It is the solemn duty of the Philippine government to ensure that our sovereign rights are not in any way compromised by the expansionist desires of China.
We decry China’s continuing militarization of the West Philippine Sea, in clear disregard of the Hague ruling. We are opposed to any economic agreement that seeks to set aside or undermine the legal victory already achieved by the Philippines in the matter of the West Philippine Sea. This includes any so-called “joint development “ scheme that may weaken the Philippine’s position insofar as our exclusive economic zone is concerned.
We are likewise concerned with the economic agreements that may place the Philippines under debt bondage to China. Terms and conditions in loan agreements must be disclosed by government and scrutinized by the people as these may lead to the surrender of our sovereignty and even our natural resources. We must be wary of the strings attached in any economic agreement. China, like other superpowers, maintains its imperialist agenda in its dealings with other countries. It seeks to expand its influence in the region through trade, loans, investments and even military aid.
China’s foreign direct investments (FDI) in the Philippines has grown to US $1.043 during the first 2 years of the Duterte presidency, compared to $1.231 billion during the entire 6-year term of Benigno Aquino III. China’s ODA to the Philippines grew from US $1.5 million in 2016 to US$63.5 million in 2017.
We also raise the negative impacts on indigenous communities of the China ODA-funded projects such as the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project and the New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam. Communities are threatened with displacement by so-called development projects.
We do not wish for the Philippines to be a debt colony of China. We also do not wish for the Philippines to be caught between conflicting superpowers such as the US and China. It is necessary for the country to adopt an independent foreign policy that advances Philippine interests over the dictates of foreign superpowers. We aspire for peace in the region, free from imperialist rivalries and the threats of war. ###