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Philippine Businessmen to China: Don't Act Like a Colonizer

Don't become an imperial power.
by Arianne Merez
Just now
Photo/s: Handout/AFP

Philippine business groups on Wednesday joined calls for China to withdraw its ships near a reef in the West Philippine Sea and reminded the economic giant to stop acting like a colonizer.

Organizations such as the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Makati Business Club expressed support for the government in demanding the departure of Chinese vessels from the Julian Felipe (Whitsun) Reef.

"We call on the Chinese authorities to respect the sovereignty of the Philippines and other neighboring countries for it is only through peaceful co-existence that we can achieve prosperity for all," the businessmen said.

"China and the Philippines share many things in common including being subjugated by colonizers and having their natural resources plundered. Now that China is strong economically and militarily, we call on China to refrain from becoming an imperial power," it added.

Manila is demanding Beijing to remove Chinese fishing and militia ships out of reefs and outcrops in the West Philippine Sea, which both countries claim as their own. 

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The Philippines has the backing of a UN Arbitral Tribunal that invalidated Beijing's vast claims in the waters.

The ships have stayed in the area for over a month, raising tensions between the two nations.

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"Our exclusive right over the Julian Felipe Reef carries with it the utilization of, and the obligation to protect, its economic benefits, such as its rich marine life and mineral deposits, for the well-being of each and every Filipino," the Philippine businessmen said.

Earlier this week, the Department of Foreign summoned China's ambassador to Manila over the lingering presence of Beijing's ships.

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