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

Departing mayor’s locally drawn portrait joins city’s pantheon

Artist Elizabeth Person’s portrait of Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson will hang with others at City Hall.

Inslee proposes tapping reserves, carbon tax in budget plan

The proposal also includes money for the mental health system and efforts to fight opioid addiction.

One dead in crash south of Granite Falls

Two cars collided near the intersection of N. Lake Roesiger Road and Hidden Valley Road.

2 women struck, injured while crossing busy roads

The first happened Wednesday night in Everett. The second was Thursday morning in Edmonds.

Lynnwood robbery leads to lockdown at Edmonds schools

Edmonds police said it was just a precaution as they search around Edmonds-Woodway High School.

Marysville 7-Eleven hit by armed robbers

Officers set up a perimeter and brought in a police dog, but the man couldn’t be found.

Snohomish man, 63, missing from home since Monday

He left without his keys, wallet and phone, saying something about going to “the river.”

Counties fed up with unfunded mandates may sue the state

For example, no money has been provided to install, maintain and clear out required ballot boxes.

Firefighters come to the rescue and give mom new stroller

Donations to the Good Neighbor Program covered the $143.20 cost.

Most Read