Philippines: Anti-China protests mark anniversary of ‘West Philippine Sea’ ruling

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Dozens of people protested in front of the Chinese Consulate in Manila on Friday, to mark the third anniversary of the arbitral rule at the UNCLOS [United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea] that rejected China’s claims over parts of the South China Sea, known locally as the West Philippine Sea.

Footage shows protesters burning a characterised flag with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s face painted on it. Carrying anti-China banners and signs, protesters marched to the consulate, waving the Philippines flag and chanting “The Philippines is not for sale.”

Protesters accused the Duterte of carrying out China’s interests. “Our problem now is that Duterte’s foreign policy is gearing towards China’s interests and China’s favour. We at Makabayan are against it because it shows that we don’t have independence from China,” said Arlene Brosas, a Gabriela Party-list Representative.

On June 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) sealed a historical victory for the Philippines against China, recognising the West Philippine Sea as part of the country’s lands, and invalidating Beijing’s claims over the South China Sea.

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