Commentary: Never test China's will to defend its own sovereignty   2012-05-09 20:48:04

BEIJING, May 9 (Xinhua) -- For nearly a month, Manila has not only turned a deaf ear to Beijing's position on resolving the dispute over China's Huangyan Island through diplomacy, but made repeated provocative moves to heighten the tension, severely infringing China's sovereignty in the process.

It is widely accepted Huangyan Island has been an integral part of China since ancient times, both on a historical and a legal basis. The surrounding waters are China's traditional fishing grounds and Chinese fishmen have fished there for generations.

For some time, in a bid to grab the territory, the Philippines not only stirred up trouble by changing the name of the island and removing signs from it, but also put on act of being "disadvantaged" in an attempt to win support from the international community. All these moves have heightened and even worsened the issue.

Why has the Philippines ignored China's repeated calls for calm? Manila is clear in its mind that only by heightening, complicating and internationalizing the issue can it fish in troubled waters and cash in.

Furthermore, as some media point out, the Philippines' tough stance in the recent confrontation with China over Huangyan is an attempt by the administration of President Benigno Aquino III to distract the public and revive its dwindling popularity.

From the very beginning, the Philippines has indulged in its own imagination and miscalculated the situation. Abusing China's long-time good-neighbor policy and its strong will for peaceful development, Manila has randomly crossed China's baseline, underestimating China's determination to safeguard its territory and sovereignty.

But the Philippines' strategy has not gained the results for which it hoped. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations remains neutral. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also made it clear that Washington would not take sides on the sovereignty dispute over the South China Sea.

In the past 30 or so years since China's reform and opening-up, the world economy has been energized by China's fast growth. Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, has also benefited from China's growth.

However, the Philippine government has failed to curb its improper coveting of China's marine territory and is bent on having its own way. The Philippine government's actions can bring nothing but harm to the country's economy, a deep worry shared by the Philippines public and business circles.

China always adheres to friendly relationships with its neighbors. But territorial sovereignty is a core interest for China and there is no room for bargaining. Is there any country in the world that has not drawn clear lines to protect its territorial integrity?

China has made every preparation to respond if the Philippines government clings obstinately to its wrong course.

No matter how the standoff over Huangyan Island develops, China will not change its friendly foreign policy to its neighbors, nor switch its will to forge peace and stability, equality and mutual benefit, and cooperation.

Meanwhile, China's resolve and strong will to safeguard its inherent territorial sovereignty will never swerve under any conditions.

In the past month, China has stood on just grounds and exercised restraint in the face of provocative actions from the Philippines. China's tolerance should not be taken advantage of nor be misjudged.

Currently, the urgent task of the Philippines government is to stop detrimental moves, keep a solemn mind and return to the right path as soon as possible.


Philippine President Aquino plays tough over China's Huangyan Island to revive popularity: author

MANILA, May 9 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines' tough stance in its recent confrontation with China over Huangyan Island is an attempt by the Aquino administration to revive its dwindling popularity, author Victor N. Arches II told Xinhua Wednesday.

The Philippine author wrote an article titled "It belongs to China," weighing evidence and international documents used by China and the Philippines to support their respective claims over Huangyan Island, which has been an integral part of China's territory since ancient times.Full story

China again summons Philippine diplomat over Huangyan Island incident

BEIJING, May 8 (Xinhua) -- Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying summoned the Charge D'affaires of the Philippine Embassy in China on Monday to lodge a representation over the current incident at Huangyan Island.

This was the third time that China had summoned the Philippine diplomat in less than a month. Full story

China's stance on Huangyan Island remains unchanged: spokesman

BEIJING, May 4 (Xinhua) -- A Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday that China's determination to solve a dispute with the Philippines over Huangyan Island via diplomatic means remains unchanged.

"The Huangyan Island incident was triggered by a Philippine warship's harassment against unarmed Chinese fishermen," spokesman Liu Weimin said at a regular news briefing. Full story

China urges Philippines to pair words with actions

BEIJING, April 30 (Xinhua) -- China on Monday highlighted remarks made by the Philippine president about de-escalating the situation over Huangyan Island, urging the country to "match its words with deeds."

"We hope the Philippine side would act as it speaks and take concrete measures to stop provoking incidents in the area, so as to resume peace and stability around Huangyan Island," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said in regards to Philippine President Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III's remarks about de-escalating the situation.  Full story

Philippines' "bully" claim sheer subjective assumption: Chinese spokesman

BEIJING, April 29 (Xinhua) -- China said Sunday that the Philippines' allegation that a Chinese ship "bullied" Philippine vessels was sheer subjective assumption.

"According to the information from relevant authorities, China's Yuzheng 310 went on patrol in waters off the coast of Huangyan Island in the early morning of April 28 (Saturday) in accordance with the law," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin in response to a question from the press.  Full story

Philippines' Huangyan Island sovereignty claim "illegal": spokesman

BEIJING, April 27 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines' sovereignty claim over Huangyan Island is "illegal" and against basic principles of international relations, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said here Friday.

"The Philippines has once clearly stated that Huangyan Island in the South China Sea is not part of its territory, but now it swallowed its words and raised illegal territory claim over an island which belongs to China," Liu said at a regular press briefing.    Full story

Manila's resort to foreign intervention in South China Sea set to end in vain

BEIJING, April 26 (Xinhua) -- Over the past days, the Philippines has not only made repeated provocative moves over China's Huangyan Island, but attempted to resort to external forces to muddle up the issue.

Currently, the standoff has persisted for nearly half a month since two Chinese surveillance ships came to the rescue of the Chinese fishermen who had been harassed by Philippine warships.  Full story

China's sovereignty over Huangyan Island never impedes "freedom of navigation"

BEIJING, April 24 (Xinhua) -- China said on Tuesday that its exercise of sovereignty over the Huangyan Island has never impeded freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin made the remarks at a routine press briefing when asked to comment on Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario's remarks on the area.    Full story

Editor: Mo Hong'e
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