Manila must stand ground against China, diplomat says

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ top diplomat has told the country’s future military leaders that they must stand their ground in any territorial disputes with China.

The comments from Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, which were released Saturday, come as disputes over the South China Sea have escalated recently. China has enraged several neighbors with a map printed in its newly revised passports that show it staking its claim on the entire South China Sea.

A statement published Saturday on the foreign ministry’s website quoted del Rosario as telling Philippine Military Academy cadets: “What is ours is ours and we should stand up to protect what is ours.”

It said del Rosario gave the lecture Friday on the challenges the country faces in defending its claims to areas in the South China Sea.

The academy supplies the officer corps of the armed forces.

The Philippines, a close ally of the United States, has poorly equipped forces that are no match to China’s military. A 45-year-old U.S. Coast Guard cutter acquired last year has become the navy’s flagship.

The Philippines claims some areas in the Spratly Island chain to which China has staked ancient ownership. The countries also claim the Scarborough Shoal west of the main Philippine island of Luzon where Chinese and Filipino ships were locked in a tense standoff early this year after the Philippine navy accosted Chinese fishermen there.

In the latest incident, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan have criticized China for putting a map in its new passports that show all of the disputed areas as belonging to China.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Friday the passport’s design was not directed at any particular country.

The United States has said it takes no sides in the territorial disputes but that it considers ensuring safe maritime traffic in the waters to be in its national interest.

The Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam are set to meet Dec. 12 to discuss claims in the South China Sea and the role of China.

More in Local News

Suspect sought in two Everett bank robberies

He’s described as 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, with dark hair and a goatee, and may have a neck tattoo.

Two missing men found, one alive and one dead

The man found alive was found in an apartment across the hallway and taken to a hospital.

Jogger unharmed after fending off attacker in Edmonds

Police released video of a man they believe to be the attacker.

Darrington School Board dealing with upheavals

The crux of the controversy seems to be the superintendent’s job.

Alaska Airlines has selected destinations for new service from Paine Field. (Alaska Airlines)
Alaska Airlines will fly from Everett to 8 West Coast cities

Two destinations that didn’t make the list were Spokane and Hawaii.

Three teens arrested for Marysville school vandalism

Windows were broken and a trash bin was on fire Sunday night at a Marysville middle school.

Langley mayor threatens newspaper with lawsuit

The mayor threatened to sue the paper over claims he withheld public records disclosure information.

Divers called to recover body after train hits pedestrian

The accident was reported by a BNSF crew near Woods Creek in Monroe.

FILE - This Tuesday, May 30, 2017 file photo, former Washington Gov. John Spellman, second from left, leaves a memorial service in Renton, Wash. Spellman, the last Republican governor elected in Washington, has died at age 91. Spellman’s son, Seattle attorney David Spellman, confirmed his death Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren,File)
John Spellman was last GOP governor of Washingon

He had spent recent weeks “being very disappointed with the Cougs and the Huskies,” his son said.

Most Read