Congress urged: Seek APA support vs Chinese expansion

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    A PARTY-LIST representative has appealed to Congress to “seek the support of the Asian Parliamentary Association and the Inter-Parliamentary Union to denounce China and its expansion in the disputed West Philippine Sea.”

    “As standing members of the AIPO and the IPU, we should use these venues to gather international support to oppose Chinese expansionism and militarization of the West Philippine Sea,” Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said in a statement.

    “We may not win through military might but certainly we are strong in the legal, moral, and diplomatic arenas,” he added.

    China has taken a bold initiative to build its own geopolitical world through its Belt and Road infrastructure project but this is also seen as a way of creating debt traps for unsuspecting countries like the Philippines.

    Zarate said one example of Beijing exerting pressure on the Philippines is the ruse that China will invest in a joint oil exploration project if the Philippines gives up its arbitration victory over the West Philippine Sea. He said this practically hands over the country’s maritime territory at the West Philippine Sea with resources worth over $1 trillion.

    Zarate earlier said Congress should take a stand against China’s latest aggressions in the West Philippine Sea “even as the Department of Foreign Affairs lodged a protest against Beijing for its hostile actions within Philippine territory.”

    With more than trillion-dollar worth of resources at the West Philippine Sea alone, there is no reason why the Philippines should depend on China to finance its key utilities’ needs.

    Zarate said Dito Telecommunity’s joint venture with ChinaTel shows its total dependence on Chinese loans starting with Bank of China to the tune of P25 billion.