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Philippine protesters rally against alleged Chinese ‘Aggression’

Philippine protesters rally against alleged Chinese ‘Aggression’

Philippine protesters rally against alleged Chinese ‘Aggression’

Philippine protesters rally against alleged Chinese ‘Aggression’

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  • Protesters in Manila demand the departure of Chinese, US, and other foreign troops from their territory amid rising tensions.
  • The protest took place near the Chinese consulate in Manila, with banners reading “China leave!”
  • The protests also demanded a halt to “foreign military buildup,” referring to enhanced defense cooperation with the US.
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On Tuesday, protesters in Manila demanded the departure of Chinese, US, and other foreign troops from their territory amid rising tensions and military buildup in the disputed South China Sea.

The protest took place near the Chinese consulate in Manila, where participants held banners reading “China leave!”, “Philippines is ours,” “Foreign troops out of Philippines,” and “Hands off PH,” while trampling on an effigy of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Despite a 2016 ruling by an international tribunal in The Hague dismissing Beijing’s claims to the waters, China’s military activity in the Philippine part of the resource-rich South China Sea — the West Philippine Sea — has been increasing.

Last month, China disrupted a Philippine supply mission to its troops in the area using a water cannon.

“We say: ‘China out of PH waters and exclusive economic zone,’ we say: ‘Enough of China’s trampling of our territorial sovereignty, maritime rights and interests,’” the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (The Philippines’ Peasant Movement), one of the Manila protest’s organizers, said in a statement.

“While we strongly censure China’s permanent presence and non-recognition of the arbitral tribunal ruling on the West Philippine Sea, we also want a de-escalation of the tension in the high seas and an overall demilitarization of the West PH Sea. We do not support and condone the recent and upcoming military exercises initiated by the United States and PH governments.”

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As the Chinese navy’s presence increases and skirmishes with Philippine personnel occur in the maritime territory, the Philippines has been conducting a series of multilateral drills in the waters. These drills involve its traditional ally, the US, as well as the naval forces of Japan and Australia.

The KMP said it demanded that foreign troops “keep off Philippine territories and waters — including China, US, Japan as well as other troops of foreign nationalities,” as there were “more than enough ways to resolve and de-escalate the conflict and tension.”

BAYAN, the Philippines’ largest alliance of grassroots groups, which also participated in the protests, called on China to “move out of the West Philippine Sea, dismantle its illegal structures, recognize the 2016 arbitral ruling, and stop harassing Filipino fisherfolk and Philippine supply missions.”

It also demanded a halt to “foreign military buildup,” referring to enhanced defense cooperation with the US.

Under a decades-long alliance, Manila serves as Washington’s key security partner in Asia, allowing the US to rotate troops into the Philippines for extended stays and build and operate facilities on Philippine military bases.

In the past two years, the partnership has expanded under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who in February last year permitted American troops to increase their footprint in the country.

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“We condemn China’s aggression as we enjoin our fellow Filipinos to expel all foreign troops and forces, especially those involved in enabling genocide in Palestine,” BAYAN said.

“We should not be cannon fodder in the inter-imperialist rivalry and war between China and the US.”

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