MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos plan to storm their embassies Friday, May 11, and Beijing is agitated about the scheduled protests amid its ongoing Scarborough Shoal standoff with the Philippines.
It’s on the top of the mind even of its state-run media. “Manila’s provocations will worsen impasse,” read China Daily’s banner story Thursday, May 10.
“Such moves have triggered a strong response from Chinese people, both domestic and overseas. China calls on the Philippines not to further harm bilateral relations,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei at a news conference Wednesday, May 9.
The Chinese embassy in the Philippines has also warned its nationals about “massive anti-China demonstrations,” spearheaded by the overseas group US Pinoys for Good Governance.
The embassy has thus advised the Chinese to stay away from protesters and avoid the outdoors.
In an earlier interview, US-based philantropist Loida Nicolas Lewis said the global protests aim to appeal to international opinion.
“The family of nations should see that this big wannabe world power, China, is not at all following international law. If you want to be a world power, you must be the first one to follow the rule of law of the international bodies,” Lewis said.
Meanwhile, nationalist sentiments on the issue have also spread online, with Chinese hackers defacing Philippine websites and vice-versa.
The Scarborough Shoal standoff has entered its 2nd month, with mutual distrust characterizing negotiations.
On Wednesday, China again rejecting the possibility of bringing the dispute to an international court. Its Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hong Lei, said this prospect is “weird.”
Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, on the other hand, said this will “build a rules-based environment and create the conditions that will shape the behavior of all parties towards the peaceful resolution of disputes.” – Rappler.com