President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Friday shrugged off a Chinese state media commentary calling him “ignorant” and an “amateurish politician.”
Speaking to reporters, Aquino defended his statements in an interview with the New York Times, wherein he likened the Philippines’ situation to that of Czechoslovakia’s during World War II.
The latter lost Sudetenland in 1938 to the demands of a much stronger Germany, because of what President Aquino reasoned was the West’s failure to support it.
Aquino was quoted by the Times as saying, “At what point do you say, ‘Enough is enough?’ Well, the world has to say it — remember that the Sudetenland was given in an attempt to appease Hitler to prevent World War II.”
Xinhua writer Ming Jinwei called Aquino’s statement a “lame comparison” and said the President continues to “create animosity with China.”
Aquino, however, brushed aside the statement and instead thanked the writer for calling him names, saying that bolstered the Philippine stance on its territorial claim against China.
He also said that it shows that China does not have sound basis for its claim over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea.)
“Nagpapasalamat nalang ako sa Xinhua dahil ang sabi nga parang nire-reaffirm iyong validity nung ating mga posisyon. May kasabihan na kapag hindi mo kayang sagutin iyong isyu e mag-name calling ka nalang [I am grateful to Xinhua because they somehow re-affirmed the validity of our position. There’s saying that if you can’t answer the issue, you resort to name-calling],” the President said.
“So kung maganda ang kanilan mga dahilan na sumusuporta sa kanilang posisyon, palagay ko, kung ako sila, iyon ang gagamitin ko. Pero kung mauuwi nalang tayo sa pagtatawag ng, di ba, iyong pang-i-insulto, e parang hindi mo mapanindigan iyong inyong binitawang unang salita,” he said.
“Kung sinasadya niyang insultuhin ako, thank you sa iyo dahil [ipinakita]mo na tama ang posisyon ng Pilipinas,” Aquino added
Meanwhile, the President welcomed the statement made by US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel expressing concern over China’s nine-dash line claim over the West Philippine Sea.
He said this call urged China to abide by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of which China is a signatory.
“Walang namilit na maging signatory ka diyan. China and the Philippines are signatories to the same. And we are hoping that we all live up to the commitments expressed in treaty such as that,” he added
According to reports, Russel challenged Beijing’s so-called “nine-dash line” that outlines its territorial claims over much of the South China Sea.
Russel said that maritime claims under international law needed to be based on land features. CATHERINE S. VALENTE