Military newspaper warns Manila over Huangyan Island dispute
Updated: 2012-05-10 14:31
By Zhang Yunbi (chinadaily.com.cn)
China's Liberation Army Daily on Thursday warned that any attempt to seize Huangyan Island's sovereignty will not be accepted either by the Chinese government and people or by the Chinese military.
The month-long island impasse, started on April 10 when a Philippines warship entered waters surrounding Huangyan Island and allegedly harassed Chinese fishermen. A series of actions by Manila subsequently worsened the situation.
The Philippines government clearly has not realized it is making a serious mistake and is escalating the situation with erroneous remarks that mislead both its citizens and the international community, said an opinion article in the Liberation Army Daily.
China says it has enough historical records and legal documents to justify its sovereignty over the island and Manila did not challenge China's sovereignty before it started to lay rival claims in 1997.
The Philippines' official maps in 1981, 1984 and even in 2006 did not include the island in its territory, said the newspaper, calling the Philippines' territorial claim "ludicrous".
China will never bully another country with its advantage but will not tolerate unreasonable behavior, said the paper.
The Philippines said on Wednesday that the United States had pledged to protect it from attacks in the South China Sea, according to the news agency Agence France Presse.
Philippines Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said he had received the assurance during talks in Washington last week in which the Philippines' increasingly tense dispute with China was discussed.
Gazmin said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stressed they were not taking sides in the dispute but they assured the Philippines the United States would honor a 1951 mutual defence treaty.
The Liberation Army's Daily on Thursday warned that no one, "no matter backed by whom", will ever take an inch of China's territory.