Statement of Senator Hontiveros on Beijing urging the Philippines to “respect” China’s sovereignty

Let us make it clear: Beijing has been the one disrespecting the Philippines’ sovereignty; not the other way around.

Beijing needs to stop contorting facts to suit her baseless claims. May I also remind Beijing that since the previous millennium, the South China Sea has always been shared by the region, as a common maritime route and a source of fish and marine resources.

It is also alarming that Beijing’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin had the gall to say that Philippine officials are the ones “complicating the situation and escalating disputes.” It seems that China is the one hallucinating. She must be the one living in an alternate reality.

In truth, it is China that has been harassing our fisherfolk, reclaiming land in territories she does not own, and even using war vessels to chase off Filipino civilians.

If China sincerely wants to avoid escalation, it should pull back her navy and maritime militia. China can’t even respect freedom of navigation on the high seas, and now she wants respect for her unfounded nine-dash line?

Many countries and organizations have stood up for the Philippines, expressing grave concern over China’s increasingly violent actions in the West Philippine Sea. The international community has come out to support the Philippines’ rights and interests, even referencing our historic 2016 victory at the Hague to repeatedly remind China to follow the rules-based international order.

If China truly wants respect, it should stop twisting and contesting the basic principles of international law. Just accept the hard truth: the West Philippine Sea belongs to us, not you. ###