Philippines launches strategy to publicize China’s actions

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine Coast Guard has launched a strategy to publicize aggressive actions by China in the disputed South China Sea. It countered Chinese propaganda, sparked international condemnation and put Beijing in the spotlight, Philippine officials said Wednesday. .

Manila’s coast guard has stepped up patrols in disputed waters, including the February 6 incident in which a Chinese coast guard vessel aimed a military-grade laser at it, temporarily blinding some of its crew. , made special efforts to document and publicize China’s assertive actions on the strategic waterway. Members aboard a Philippine patrol boat off the disputed reef.

The Coast Guard protests and the release of video of the incident have set alarm bells in the Philippines, the United States and other Western countries. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. summoned the Chinese ambassador to Manila, after which the Philippine military shifted from fighting Islamist and communist insurgents and other domestic threats to external defense amid a lingering territorial dispute in the South China Sea. said he shifted his focus.

“I want to emphasize that the best way to deal with China’s ‘gray zone’ activity in the Western Philippine Sea is to expose it,” said Coast Guard Adm. You mentioned that you are doing it using ships and research vessels. A military mission to avoid military reaction from hostile claimants.

Taliera used the Filipino name for the stretch of South China Sea near the west coast. He spoke at a Manila forum about China’s “grey zone” operations in the disputed waters.

The Philippine Coast Guard’s role as an advocate against China’s aggression “allows like-minded countries to voice their denunciations and accusations that put Beijing in the spotlight,” he said. “China’s actions in the shadows are now under check, which forced them to openly expose themselves or lie publicly.”

Talliera said Manila’s outrage over the laser incident had prompted China, including its ambassador to Manila, to explain its position when questioned about the incident at a press conference.

Chinese officials say a Philippine patrol boat has intruded into Chinese territory and that the Chinese coast guard is acting “professional and restrained”, using harmless lasers to track the Philippine patrol boat’s movements. said he did

Publishing unedited Coast Guard videos and photos of such Chinese actions “can reshape public opinion, not just propaganda, but to objectively assess things based on facts.” ‘ said Taliera.

The US State Department responded to the incident by saying that China’s “dangerous military operations directly threaten regional peace and stability” and “undermine the rules-based international order.” It renewed its warning that it would defend its treaty ally the Philippines if Philippine forces, aircraft and ships were attacked in the South China Sea.

Raymond Powell, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel who has studied Chinese strategy, praised the Philippine Coast Guard’s efforts to publicize China’s actions in the South China Sea, but warned the Philippine government would come under Chinese pressure. bottom. release things. ”

China claims almost all of the South China Sea and is on a collision course with other claimants such as the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Despite friendly offers to Beijing by former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and his successor Marcos Jr., who visited Beijing in January and met with President Xi Jinping, tensions persisted and the relationship between the Philippines and the United States continued. strengthened military alliances.