The PLA Daily, the official newspaper of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China, on Thursday warned the Philippines about the Huangyan Island incident, saying the country’s armed forces will not allow anyone to take the sovereignty of the island away from China.
“We want to say that anyone’s attempt to take away China’s sovereignty over Huangyan Island will not be allowed by the Chinese government, people and armed forces,” the newspaper said in a signed article titled “Don’t Attempt to Take Away Half an Inch of China’s Territory.”
Instead, it is wise to give up such attempts and abide by international rules to gain the forgiveness of the Chinese people and the pardon of the international community.
China has exercised restraint on the Huangyan Island incident. “If one mistakes China’s kindness for weakness and regards China as a ‘paper dragon’ as instigated by some onlookers, he is terribly wrong,” the article added.
China had suffered too much humiliation as its sovereignty was encroached and territory carved up when the country was poor and weak.
China now pursues an independent foreign policy of peace. It will not bully the weak by being strong, nor blindly tolerate unreasonable tricks played by others, especially on matters concerning territorial integrity, national dignity and social stability.
It is obvious that the Philippine side has not realized that it is making serious mistakes, although one month has passed since the beginning of the incident, said the article.
Instead, the Philippine side is stepping up efforts to escalate tensions, has continued to send government vessels to the Huangyan Island lagoon and has repeatedly made erroneous remarks which have misled the Philippine public and the international community and provoked public feelings, thus severely damaging bilateral relations.
The situation is not optimistic, the article said.
China’s sovereignty over the island is based on both historical and legal grounds. No matter what tricks the Philippines may play, the fact that Huangyan Island belongs to China will never change, the article said.
Even Philippine maps published in 1981, 1984 and 2006, which indicate that Huangyan Island is outside of the Philippines’ territory, show how ridiculous the Philippine side is when it attempts to claim sovereignty over the island.
Moreover, the repeated tricks by the Philippines have failed to gain support from its own people, the international community and even its allies. It is quite likely the Philippine side will drink as it brewed, said the article.