President Aquino seeks international help vs China’s claims over West Philippine Sea

MANILA, Feb. 5 (PNA) — President Benigno Aquino III this week sought international support in contesting China’s claims over the West Philippine Sea, warning of the consequences of “(saying) yes to something we believe is wrong now.”

The President, in an interview with The New York Times, also cited a lesson from history where the West failed to support Czechoslovakia against Adolf Hitler’s demands for the Sudetenland in 1938.

“If we say yes to something we believe is wrong now, what guarantee is there that the wrong will not be further exacerbated down the line?… At what point do you say, ‘Enough is enough?’ Well, the world has to say it,” he said.

“Remember that the Sudetenland was given in an attempt to appease Hitler to prevent World War II,” he added.

The President maintained in the interview that the Philippines will not give up its territories in the disputed area.

The New York Times described President’s Aquino’s remarks as “among the strongest indications yet of alarm among Asian heads of state about China’s military buildup and territorial ambitions.”

The Philippines is among the Asian countries that have territorial disputes with China over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

During the interview, the President also said he is optimistic the Philippines and the United States are very close to an agreement that could enhance the Philippines’ security.

“We are very optimistic that will happen,” he said.

On the other hand, the President expressed reluctance to increase military spending, if that means sacrificing social concerns.

“I’m not sure if I would be willing to sacrifice social concerns to try to improve the military capabilities,” he said. (PNA)