Protesters call for peace during a rally outside the Chinese consulate in Makati City on Wednesday. (Photo by Sam Lebradores)
More than 1,000 people rallied outside the Chinese consulate in Makati City in Manila today as part of a broader protest by Filipinos around the world against Beijing’s claim over the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea.
The protestors accused China of trying to exert its will through threats and intimidation as the standoff over the disputed area continues.
The Akbayan (Citizen’s Action) Party, which spearheaded the rally, said other protests were also being held by Filipino expatriates in front of Chinese embassies and consulates in New York, San Francisco, Sydney, Austria, Vancouver and Hong Kong.
"We hope China hears us loud and clear. We may be a small nation, but we will not let our country's sovereignty be trampled upon,” Akbayan leader Marie Chris Cabreros said.
Cabreros said the global protest was aimed at drawing the international community’s attention to the ongoing tension at the Scarborough Shoal.
“We would like to expose the Chinese government's lack of respect for international law and the sovereign rights of its neighbors," Cabreros said.
The group chided the Chinese foreign ministry for issuing a travel advisory warning its nationals visiting the Philippines against possible reprisals.
“Our protest action is directed against the policies and the bullying of the Chinese government. It is not a demonstration against the Chinese people," Cabreros said.
The standoff in Scarborough Shoal began on April 8 when the Philippine Navy caught Chinese fishing vessels in the area.
China has so far refused demands by the Philippines to take the dispute to international arbitration.
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