Stand up to the Chinese Titan and American Colossus

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the Filipino people in denouncing the interdiction operation by water-cannon attack conducted by a China’s Coast Guard ship over the weekend against a much smaller Philippine supply boat and coast guard vessel.

China’s action is completely unacceptable considering that it was carried out well within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines and put to risk the lives of the Filipino crewmen. The Philippine boats were on a mission to deliver supplies to soldiers stationed at military outpost at the Ayungin Shoal, which the International Arbitral Tribunal ruled to be part of the Philippine’s exclusive economic zone.

This is not the first time that Philippine boats were subjected to hostile action by China’s armed vessels. Such operations which violate Philippine sovereignty have been going on for over a decade now. The most vulnerable to China’s aggression are Filipino fishing boats who have been repeatedly driven away by armed Chinese vessels from their fishing grounds, especially in the Scarborrough Shoal, which has long been shared by Filipino and Chinese fishermen. In addition, Chinese industrial fishing has intensified in areas within and around the West Philippine Sea which have resulted in the dislocation of small Filipino fishermen.

The Filipino people must manifest their indignation against China’s antagonistic acts against Philippine sea vessels, plunder of marine resources and gross violations of the country’s sovereignty. They must build the broadest possible local and international united front to demand China to respect the 2016 ruling of the IAT which dismissed China’s 9-dash claim and upheld the Philippines’ rights to its exclusive economic zone and extended continental shelf.

Moreover, the Filipino people must protest the timidity of the Philippine government in the face of China’s antagonistic acts, while refusing to make active international political and diplomatic initiatives to more aggressively defend the country’s sovereignty, and instead merely following the baton of the US government.

At the same time, the Filipino people must resist the push of pro-US militarists who wish to exploit the situation to justify further increasing the reliance of the country’s military forces on US military funding and arms sales, heightening US military presence in the country, intensifying US war provocations, raising the temperature of US-China military conflict and drawing the Philippines into a possible hot war.

Over the past decade, the imperialist powers US and China have trampled on Philippine sovereignty in playing their superpower rivalry. On the one hand, China has intensified its military presence in the South China Sea in the face of heightened US military presence since the “Asia pivot” declaration of the US in 2011. On the other hand, the US has intensified its military presence in the Philippines, as well as in South Korea, Japan, and others along its so-called “first island chain” strategy of “encircling China.” The US has been hyping up Taiwan “independence” to provoke China.

The Filipino people cannot defend the country’s sovereignty against the Chinese titan by allowing themselves to be under the power of the US colossus. To do so is not to defend the Philippine sovereignty, rather is to further retrograde the country’s status as an American neocolony.

Instead, the Filipino people must raise the urgent demand for the imperialist powers to demilitarize the South China Sea by removing their armed vessels in the area to allow cargo and civilian vessels to freely sail through these international waters, and give Filipino fishermen all the freedom to harvest marine resources, without fear of interdiction or reprisal, and for the Philippines to enjoy security within its land and territorial seas.

Stand up to the Chinese Titan and American Colossus