Malacañang would rather not fan the flames of a recruitment video from China’s Liberation Army Navy declaring that it is “prepared for war” among other things.
“Obviously, it’s a recruitment video. It’s intended to entice their people to join their organizations,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in an interview over state-run DZRB.
“But as far as we’re concerned, really, for us we concentrate on the tracks that we have taken and we concentrate on our initiatives,” she said.
The four-minute long recruitment video was released amid the persisting tension that Beijing has with its neighbors over disputed territories at sea. This includes conflicting Maritime claims with the Philippines, whose military might be weak in comparison to China.
Last month, the United Nations (UN) Permanent Court of Arbitration began hearing Manila’s case against the regional giant, which it accused of intruding into the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). Valte said the Philippines will stay the course.
“As you can see, we prepared really well for the first round of argumentation before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in The Netherlands, and we would rather continue to prepare for eventualities on our initiatives,” bared the Palace official.
China has a blanket claim over the South China Sea. It has become more active in its reclamation activities the past few years, thus turning the region into a major military flashpoint.
The three-part recruitment video released last week appears to confirm this.
In it, China declared that it has “maintained combat readiness” and is thus “prepared for war.” More forebodingly, it said that it “will not yield an inch of our territory to foreigners”.
Beijing wants no part of international arbitration and instead prefers to settle disputes on a bilateral level.
Despite not seeing eye-to-eye on maritime issues, Valte said that the Philippines and China have a “multifaceted” relationship and thus would continue to work together.
“What I’m saying is that we have always approached the relationship with China on a multilevel scale. It’s a multifaceted relationship that we do not… as much as possible, we… despite the existence of the dispute on one facet, on one level of the relationship, we continue to work with them on the other facets that are already there,” explained Valte.