Carpio wants ‘truth movement’ to correct China’s claims on South China Sea
MANILA, Philippines — Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said Monday that Filipino communicators should take up the cudgels for the Philippines and help correct China’s ‘fake historical claim’ that they own almost the entire South China Sea because the Duterte administration is reluctant to do so.
“We can call this present-day information campaign the South China Sea Truth Movement, a people’s movement using freedom of expression to explain the historical truth about the South China Sea,” Carpio said before graduates of the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication.
“We can invite the peoples of Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, countries whose Exclusive Economic Zones are also encroached by China’s nine-dashed line, to join us in this Movement,” he added.
China has been teaching its citizens since the 1940s that it owns the South China Sea even without historical evidence to back it up.
Carpio said China will not admit its mistake even if the Arbitral Tribunal in The Hague already ruled that its claim over 85.7 percent of its waters enclosed in the so-called nine-dashed line has no factual or legal basis.
In fact, he said Chinese propagandists and trolls “spread with impunity fake history and fake news within our country” as they “operate freely in Philippine social media, comment freely in Philippine online newspapers, and even take out political advertisements in Philippine print newspapers.”
He also mentioned Chinese President Xi Jin Ping’s opinion piece about China’s history that justify its claim over the South China Sea.
The SC magistrate lamented that while Philippine democracy allows such Chinese propaganda in the country, Filipinos cannot do the same in China to correct such false historical claims due to the “Great Firewall of China” that prevents the Chinese people from accessing foreign social media websites.
Therefore, he said communicators should instead target over 100 million Chinese people who travel outside China every year.
“Like all the other peoples of the world, the Chinese people are inherently good people. They have, however, been taught by their government only one historical narrative that happens to be totally false. I am sure that once informed of the true history of the South China Sea, and confronted with their own historical maps and official records, the Chinese people will accept the truth about the South China Sea,” he suggested.
“These Chinese tourists will eventually spread the truth about the South China Sea to their compatriots at home. And the truth will set the Chinese people on a reconciliation path with the peoples of the Asean coastal states, and with the peoples of the rest of the world,” he stressed.
Carpio said it is important for Filipino communicators to start the campaign now even if the Duterte administration “refuses to assert the arbitral ruling.” He said “the truth will secure our sovereign rights forever in the West Philippine Sea, to be enjoyed by generations of Filipinos to come.”
Carpio has earlier expressed disappointment over how the government is dealing with China.
The government has maintained friendly relations with China despite its continuous incursion into Philippine waters. The administration had repeatedly said that it cannot afford to go to war with China. (Editor: Eden Estopace)
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