Following the united stand of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) over the disputed West Philippine Sea, a former lawmaker on Friday said China should stop claiming that they are being ganged up on by other claimant countries of the contested waters.
Former national security adviser and Rep. Roilo Golez said China should quit playing victim because the rest of the world knows that they are not the bullied one.
‘Yun nga ang nakakatawa, ang China playing underdog. Pwede ba namang maging underdog ‘yung isang dambuhala. Dito sa Pilipinas pwede mong gawin ‘yan, sa pulitika, Golez said over Radyo Inquirer 990AM. Ang nangyayari dito, sabi ko nga halos lahat ay kinukundina itong ginagawa (ng China).
In a meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Asean foreign ministers on Tuesday expressed concern over China’s massive island-building activities in the disputed area, saying that reclamation works have increased tensions in the region.
Citing traditional Chinese allies like Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos, Golez said China could have also attempted to influence the Asean joint communique particularly through its Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who attended the regional meeting.
Sigurado ang tindi nung lobbying na ginagawa ng China sa mga kapanalig doon; si minister Wang Yi ng ministry ng foreign affairs ng china siympre nandoon at tiyak starting to pull strings doon, he said.
Reacting to the foreign minister’s statement that his country has already stopped its reclamation works, Golez noted that the amount of land reclaimed by China was already massive.
Sabi nila tumigil, pero kapag tiningnan mo ‘yung mapa, ‘yung surveillance, masyado nang malaki. Itinigil nila ngayon, pero we don’t know next month or next two months kung ano ang susunod na gagawin nila. Pero kahit wala nang reclamation, ‘yung militarization ang mahirap, Golez said, referring to China’s building of airstrips and military posts in the contested territories.
Golez also supported the arbitration case filed by the Philippines before the United Nations tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, saying that bilateral talks would not work with a bully like China.
Hindi naman tayo bobo na bansa. Alam natin na kapag ang kaharap natin ay isang dambuhala at ‘yung ganyan na bully talagang kumilos, hindi pwede ang bilateral diyan. Hindi magiging matino ang usapin diyan, he added.