Wednesday, July 17, 2013

NGO coalition gears up for July 24 protest vs 'China bullying' of its South China Sea neighbors

From GMA News (Jul 17): NGO coalition gears up for July 24 protest vs 'China bullying' of its South China Sea neighbors

A non-government group that claims to have members in various global capitals revealed Wednesday its plan to mount a worldwide protest against what they see as China's violation of the international law of the sea.
The West Philippine Sea coalition set the protest from 12 noon to 2 p.m. on July 24 at various Chinese embassies and consulates in Makati City, Metro Manila, United States, London, Rome, Italy, Israel, among others, according to a report at "Balitanghali" on Wednesday.
Former interior secretary Rafael Alunan III, who is lead convenor of the coalition, said they are protesting against China's supposed violation of the  United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), as well as their alleged bullying to the Philippines.
"This protest rally is only going to be the start of something that we intend to become bigger, not only in the Philippines but worldwide, in order to tell the world what is happening in our backyard - the bullying that's being done by our big neighbor," said former National Security Adviser Rolio Golez, who was also a convenor.
Alunan said the Philippine government should also ensure the safety of the Filipinos who may be affected by the worldwide protest.
He also appealed to the citizens of the countries where the protest will be held not to discriminate against Filipinos there.
At least 24 artists were also tapped to sing protest songs, according to the coalition.
The coalition's protest comes a few weeks after a ranking U.S. diplomat said he will do everything he can to “lower the temperature” in territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas, and push claimants including China toward diplomacy.
A 28-year career diplomat, Danny Russel is presently the White House senior director for Asian affairs. He is a nominee to become assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
The Philippines had figured in disputes with China over parts of the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), including the one last year at the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal off Zambales in the western part of Central Luzon.
Chinese vessels had also been sighted in disputed waters in the Spratlys, parts of it are being claimed by Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam; and the whole of area is being claimed by China.
Valte maintained that the Philippine government’s approach "has always been to adopt the rules-based scheme, which is very evident from the steps we’ve taken in the disputes we are currently involved in.”
She added Russel’s comments are “consistent” with the Philippines’ stand to peacefully resolve disputes through the “tamang venue, tamang paraan (right venue, right way).”

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