China is a bully vs. Don’t mess with China: FilAms split

On YouTube, Loida rallies FilAms to protest China's 'bullying.'

These two positions over the Spratlys dispute — and China’s looming ambitions in the region — are so far apart, yet they come from one community.

The U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance (USP4GG) is mobilizing FilAms to protest on July 8 in front of Chinese embassies and consulates around the world over Beijing’s incursions into Philippine territorial waters.

“China is a bully,” said Loida Nicolas Lewis, one of the founders of USP4GG. “China is about to steal oil within our territorial waters.”

On the other end, Bayan USA has issued a statement calling on the U.S. and the Philippines to stop provoking China with their joint naval exercises around the contested waters.

“The U.S. is fomenting conflict with its super-rival by way of arming and conducting bilateral naval exercises with the Philippine military right in the heart of the disputed region,” said Bayan USA Secretary-General Rhonda Ramiro, calling President Benigno Aquino a subservient “yes man” of the U.S.

Tensions have risen in the South China Sea over China’s recent aggressive behavior over the Spratly Islands, a cluster of reefs, atolls and islands believed to have rich deposits of natural gas and oil. China, the Philippines, Vietnam and other states have overlapping claims over the region, but the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea demarcated each countries’ boundaries by allocating an 200-mile economic zone around them. This zone is off limits to other countries. The Philippines alleged that China has violated international law.

While China has, for years, been making quiet intrusions around the Spratlys close to the Philippines, its plan to build a rig near Palawan enraged the normally laidback Philippine government.

On May 27, 2011, according to USP4GG, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs conveyed its concern to China over reports it was planning to install a sophisticated oil rig in the West Philippine Sea.

The Xinhua reports, “CNOOC (China National Offshore Oil Corp) plans to invest 200 billion yuan ($30 billion) and drill 800 deepwater wells – which they expect to have an output of an equivalent 500 million barrels of oil by the year 2020.” The target production is equivalent to approximately $50 billion per year.

Manila, according to USP4GG, said an undetermined number of structures were recently constructed by China in the vicinity of Philippine-claimed Iroquois Reef-Amy Douglas Bank near Palawan. The site is located southwest of Recto or Reed Bank and east of Patag or Flat Island “within the Philippines’ 200 nautical miles Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).”

Why would China do this?

As Loida so passionately explained in her YouTube message, “They need oil. Where will they find the oil? It is right within the Philippine boundaries of territorial waters.”

Loida’s claim nearly mirrors a recent ExxonMobil energy outlook, “A view to 2030.” According to the report, energy demand through the year 2030 in non-OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries “will rise by 70 percent, led by China and India.”

To dramatize its projections, the report said that “of the 400 million new cars that will be added to the world’s roads between today and 2030, more than one-third of them will be in China.”

While the demand may not be as dramatic in the more advanced OECD economies, such as the U.S., it is still projected to grow.

Exxon, the world’s biggest oil company, knows the disputed region well. It drilled four wells in the Sulu Sea and said hydrocarbons were discovered, a possible sign of oil and natural gas. Reading the Exxon report puts the Spratlys dispute in perspective. It helps explain why China and the U.S. are acting like Neolithic cavemen — China barreling its way into Philippine waters, and the U.S. flexing its naval might ostensibly in the name of defending “an ally.” As Kevin James hisses in “Zookeeper:” Really?

When has Washington ever taken the side of the Philippines? And why would it risk crossing an economic powerhouse like China, which has turned into one of its biggest trading partners?

The promise of oil makes the Philippines look very enticing right now. As a matter of fact, the Philippine Department of Energy is hosting in July or August an oil-and-gas roadshow in Texas with 15 exploration contracts up for bid. Expect to see the big oil players in that event.

Let’s try to show up at the July 8 rally, from 12 noon to 1 p.m., in front of the Chinese consulate at 520 12th Avenue. There’s so much more we need to know about an issue that affects Philippine patrimony.


  1. FilAm1551 wrote:

    What’s wrong with Bayan USA? If there’s something the FilAm community does not know, let them explain it clearly, logically, dispassionately. We want to know all sides of the issue.

    • Mer Navarro wrote:

      It you’re a natural born Filipino with no Chinese blood running in your vein, then don’t ask about the other side of the story. Communist China wants to swallow a part of the Philippines composed mostly of pieces of stones called SHOAL which disappear during high tide and could be seen during low tide only. This is the fishing ground of the Ilocanos and Zambalenyos for centuries prior to the so-called “discovery” by the Spaniards. The Philippine geographical description is island, while China is a continent. Actually, the Philippines is composed of 7,105 islands. The Scarborough, Panatag or other names given to it is within the territorial sovereignty of our country. It is located 150 nautical miles from Zambales, well within the boundary of 200 nautical miles of every country all over the world as fixed by the United Nations. The claim of China is far-fetched due said disputed island or shoal is located very far from its shore with a distance of 550 nautical miles away. Communist China should instead focused its attention in getting back Taiwan which is really a part of mainland China. Taiwan became the safe haven of the escaping army of Chiang Kai Chekua during the Mao Zedong revolution. However, until now nobody could touch Taiwan simply because the 7th Fleet of the U.S. Navy is guarding it. The Communist China’s navy has no chance at all if ever it decides of grabbing Taiwan by force. My message to the descendants of Mao Zedong, just go away and not to dare the brown Pilipinos in a confrontation. Limahong, the Chinese pirate invaded Zambales and Lingayen, but repulsed or driven out by the natives there many centuries ago They will do the same today if these communists would dare invade a part of Zambales..

  2. Lorna Tejico, Bronx wrote:

    Bayan USA is an oxymoron. They hate the United States and yet they are living here. If they feel that way about the United States, they should live in China. Mas kinakampihan nila ang mga Intsik kaysa ang Pilipinas.

  3. Doc Gen wrote:

    In medicine, we say – “if you dont USE it, you LOSE it”. If you don’t use your muscle, they atrophy or shrink. The Philippines had control of the Spratlys for a long time and did not drill. The Americans were there from 1898 to the early 1990s – almost 100 years. the Americans had the oil exploration know-how and the ability to defend the Philippines. The Philippines and US did not take advantage. Also, “You only own the territory that you can defend”. Without the US, the PHI has lost Spratlys.

  4. Faisal wrote:

    I see that the Philippines is finally standing up to China. Aren’t there a lot of Chinese in the Philippines? How will they be affected by this tension?

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